Level Up / Paso de nivel (¡Salud, familia!)

by Gwendolyn Zepeda
Illustrated by Pablo Torrecilla
Spanish translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura

ISBN: 978-1-61192-480-0
Pages: 32
Format: Paperback
Ages: 5-9

Please write to appinfo@uh.edu for information on getting ¡Salud, familia! books.

An entertaining bilingual picture book that encourages kids to value playing outside.

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David is obsessed with reaching the next level in his favorite video game. Whether he’s playing BunnyBot Fighters or Ultimate Rhino Races, he’s so single minded in his pursuit of reaching the next level that he turns down invitations from friends to play outside. But one day, his game quits working, and he’s on “Level Sad.” So, with nothing else to do, he reluctantly goes outside to play.

“Today I’m trying to skateboard. I have to learn to stand on the skateboard while it rolls, without falling off. It feels like I’m on Level One of a really hard game.” But if he can master staying on the board, his friend Michael will show him how to do turns, and “that’ll be like Level Two.” Soon, David is doing turns and is ready to learn how to do jumps!

Still unable to play video games, David lets his friend Bianca convince him to try playing basketball. Dribbling is hard, but David wants to level up so he’ll get a new red jersey. Pretty soon, he’s on Level 12 of skateboarding and Level 8 of basketball, and he’s ready to try diving and dirt biking. Eventually his video game is fixed, but by then he has discovered that leveling up in real life is more exciting than leveling up on the screen.

Popular kids’ book author Gwendolyn Zepeda teams up again with artist and illustrator Pablo Torrecilla to create a lively story that will have young readers laughing in commiseration with a kid consumed by imaginary goals. Following up on their acclaimed I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón, this talented pair has once again crafted an appealing bilingual picture book that will encourage kids ages 5 to 9 to get off the couch and get moving.

Named to the 2013-2014 Tejas Star Reading List

“A boy reluctantly joins his friends outside for some competitive sports when his fascination with video games is unexpectedly interrupted after his device stop functioning… This agreeable didactic tale clearly makes the point; it might be most useful as an introductive resource for classroom discussion followed by active participation.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A good bet for young soccer fans.”—Kirkus Reviews on I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón

“This story will inspire children and remind them that, with determination and perseverance, dreams can and do come true.”—Library Journal on I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón

“Young readers will delight in Zepeda’s use of repetition and will giggle over the story’s jocular ending.”—Kirkus Reviews on Growing Up with Tamales / Los tamales de Ana

“A pleasing and effective multicultural offering.”—Kirkus Reviews on Sunflowers / Girasoles

GWENDOLYN ZEPEDA is the author of three bilingual picture books for children: I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón (Piñata Books, 2011); Growing Up with Tamales / Los tamales de Ana (Piñata Books, 2008), a 2009 Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Title; and Sunflowers / Girasoles (Piñata Books, 2009), winner of the Texas Institute of Letters’ Austin Public Library Friends Foundation Award for Best Children’s Book. She lives and works in Houston, Texas.

Learn more at gwendolynzepeda.com.

PABLO TORRECILLA, a native of Madrid, Spain, has illustrated numerous children’s books, including Estrellita en la ciudad grande / Estrellita in the Big City (Piñata Books, 2008) and The Bakery Lady / La señora de la panadería (Piñata Books, 2001). He lives in Italy.

Learn more at pablotorecilla.com.

AR Quiz #156456 | ATOS English: 2.5 | ATOS Spanish: 2.2 | ATOS IL: LG