Manolito is a ten-year-old boy from Carabanchel, Spain. If you ask anyone in his neighborhood who Manolito is, though, they will say that they do not know. All of Manolito’s friends know him as Four-Eyes, a nickname inspired by his thick, Coke-bottle glasses. Manolito doesn’t mind his nickname since don’t tease him about his glasses anymore since he adopted his knew nickname.
Manolito enjoys a happy life with his parents and Grandfather, who he is really attached to. In Manolito’s words “My grandpa’s cool; he’s so cool, he’s a whole lotta cool.” Manolito is always having great times with his Grandfather, from venturing into town, taking part in a demonstration, and meeting a famous news anchor first hand, to redecorating the stairwell with three colors of magic markers.
Manolito loves his life and is ready to tell everyone all about it. His chatterbox mouth even ends up with him visiting the school psychologist. When he starts telling the psychologist his whole life story, starting with how he was named after the family truck, the psychologist kicks him out!
“Manolito Four-Eyes” is funny through and through. Elvira Lindo has created an amusing tale, with a charming young character. The plot is not very exciting, as there are no serious problems throughout the story, but this is a good thing, as it allows each humorous chapter to stand alone as a separate tale.
Manolito frequently uses expressions that are distinctly Castilian Spanish, and it is interesting to see them translated into English. I liked the way the feel of Spain and the language was carried over into the English language.
The lively illustrations of writer and illustrator Emilio Urberuaga add extra zest to the story. The young children are drawn extra small, as if they were the size of toddlers in comparison to the adults, but this just makes their personalities seem even larger. The drawings are full of action that perfectly complements the story of Manolito.
“Manolito Four-Eyes” is a excellent multicultural story that young readers are sure to enjoy in the United States just as much as they do in Spain.