August 27, 2017

LUCIA THE LUCHADORA

Cynthia Leonor Garza and Alyssa Bermudez's Lucía the Luchadora is one of the sweetest stories I've read in a long time. It's full of courage, feminism, cultural legacy, and kindness, and it's not a book to be missed.


As Lucía runs around the playground in her cape, she can't help but feel a little down as the boys her age all shout that "girls can't be superheroes." But luckily strength runs in Lucía's family, and when her abuela reveals that she used to be a luchadora -- a Mexican wrestler -- Lucía comes to understand the tradition of lucha libre and, consequently, her own inner strength. Emboldened by her new disguise (with a mask to match!), Lucía returns to school as a success, not only for herself but for other girl students who want to play along, too.


As anyone might expect from a book about luchadores, this book is colorful from end to end. Bermudez wastes no space, choosing to fill up each spread with color and action, and it's never limited to just the foreground. Even in the backgrounds of every scene Bermudez uses large, sweeping strokes to inject movement and energy into the spread so that readers can't help but want to flip the pages to keep reading. 


Lucía the Luchadora -- which is a debut for both the author and the illustrator -- came out swinging earlier this year from POW!