By Cathy Camper; illustrated by Raul the Third
What do you do when you don’t have the cash to follow your dreams?
Enter the Universal Car Competition, of course!
Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria are three friends with a dream; a dream of one day owning their own garage where they can really let their talents shine! All they need to do is make the “most mechanically inventive, exquisitely detailed cosmic car” in the whole competition. With no dinero (money) for parts and paint, they’re facing quite a challenge but these three amigos (friends) will prove that doing what you love can be one wild space ride!
With an impala, octopus, and mosquito as the main characters, you know you’re in for a whimsical and fun-filled tale from page one. Cathy Camper’s Lowriders in Space takes a classic theme of following your dreams and gives it a bit of Chicano flair. Popular Spanish words and phrases are sprinkled throughout the story with side note translations so you don’t miss a beat. Raul’s use of red, blue, and black ballpoint pens proves that in the right hands even the most basic writing tool can craft fabulous illustrations. The use of lines for shading and the splotchy, stained look of the background paper give it a “rough around the edges” look that really compliments the story.
This is a great graphic novel to introduce Latino culture to young readers and can be easily enjoyed by car-lovers and space-fans alike or even those who just enjoy a good helping of the fantastical.
Reviewed by: Meredith (Harrington Library)