Max Loves Muñecas!

Max Loves Muñecas! illus by Mauricio J. Flores. 80p. Rosetta Pr. 2014. Tr $7.00. ISBN 9781497353831.
K-Gr 3—When Max endures teasing from his classmates because he enjoys looking at the beautiful dolls in Señor Pepe's shop, Pepe shares the story of how he came to follow his passion and talent for sewing in defiance of gender expectations. Orphaned as a child in Honduras, Pepe is taken in by a local seamstress who includes him in her business. When Pepe breaks a part of her sewing machine, he must face his fear of revealing himself as a boy who sews and ask for help from a crew of homeless boys. It's difficult to pinpoint a setting for Max's or Pepe's story, which is disorienting; Max's city is never named, and Pepe's country of origin is revealed only in the last chapter. A few extraneous subplots weigh down the narrative, and Max's story is so brief in comparison to Pepe's that it almost seems unnecessary. Fortunately, strong characterization keeps this work from feeling too muddled; Pepe and the boys he befriends struggle against the hardships of poverty and cultural expectations of what is "manly," and all show believable growth. Black-and-white illustrations are too few and of poorer quality than the writing, with stiff figures whose body parts are disproportionate. The characters' ages are unclear, though this may allow for a broad range of age among readers. Not a flawless book, but Elliott's characteristic skill at interpreting tough topics for a young audience shines through.—Amy Martin, Oakland Public Library, CA

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing