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<< Back to Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush

Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush

Horn Book

"When I remember my village, I remember the color green. A green that is rich, perhaps too rich, and almost bubbling with humidity and the smell of mangos." In vividly descriptive prose that meanders between the narrator's boyhood mischief, the history of the Mexican village of Rosario, and the pervasive graffiti of Mr. Mendoza's eponymous paintbrush (following along in the Latino tradition of artist as community conscience), Urrea's previously published short story has now been superbly adapted as a graphic novel by Cardinale. Not only does the art perfectly capture the mood of the piece-from the blocky woodcuts to the muted earth tones-but it also reinforces the lucid dreamlike quality of its magical realism. That genre can be a hard sell for teens, but this wonderfully visual example serves as both an enticing introduction and an invitation to further explore the masterworks of Allende, Borges, and Garcia Márquez.
- Jonathan Hunt, July 1, 2010 

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