cover image Super Oscar

Super Oscar

Oscar De La Hoya, , with Mark Shulman, illus. by Lisa Kopelke. . S&S, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-0611-7

Another celebrity-turned-children's-book-author enters the literary field, and his imaginative hero gives it a fighting chance. Boxing champ De La Hoya pens a semi-autobiographical tale of a boy daydreamer. At the breakfast table, his father offers him some sage advice: "Oscar, it's good to dream. But sometimes you need to take your head out of the clouds to get things done." When the boy forgets to follow his mother's instructions and distribute shopping lists to his neighbors for their weekly picnic, his mother says they'll have to cancel the event. But Oscar steps up to take responsibility and deliver the goods (literally). His scampering about to make the necessary preparations in time for the picnic helps energize the somewhat formulaic plot. The suggested fitness tips for kids at story's end seem forced, but Kopelke's (Excuse Me! ) imaginative artwork commands the detailed spreads (facing pages reiterate the text in Spanish). Superimposed, often photographic images help to create a world where reality meets dreamland. The artist transforms mundane tasks such as Oscar's supermarket shopping (he fills back-to-back shopping carts sky-high with goods) and cream whipping into Olympic-like feats. Ages 4-8. (May)