Lowriders to the Rescue

Chronicle. (Lowriders in Space: Bk. 3). May 2022. 140p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781452179483.
Gr 4-7–Cultures, technologies, and families unite in this rallying cry for eco-friendly change. When a forest fire endangers a family of anthropomorphic Arabic monarch butterflies, daughter Sokar escapes to the nearby city to find help. She encounters the Latinx lowriders—an impala, a mosquito, and an octopus who all adore cars—and they take her in. They learn about each other’s culture, including food, aesthetics, and language. English translations for Spanish and Arabic words appear at the bottom of each page and in an appended glossary. The lowriders deploy a series of technological marvels to solve ecological and economic issues. Beaming faces and effortless solutions threaten to turn the book’s optimistic attitude into parody, though younger readers will appreciate seeing positive changes take place so soon, and there is much to learn about science and Latinx and Arabic culture. Rendered digitally and mimicking a ballpoint pen, the textured illustrations are vibrant and expressive. Back matter includes personal, historical, and scientific notes about the many inspirations behind the story.
VERDICT This bursting medley of community and planetary mindfulness is as colorful as it is inventive. Best experienced after the earlier books.

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