Level Up / Paso de nivel
An entertaining bilingual picture book that encourages kids to value playing outside.
by Gwendolyn Zepeda
Illustrated by Pablo Torrecilla
Spanish translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura
Publication Date: November 30, 2012
Imprint: Piñata Books
- About the Book
- About the Author
- About the Illustrator
- About the Translator
- Educational Resources
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
“Children’s author Gwendolyn Zepeda has come up with a timely bilingual picture book for today’s kids that will grab their 21st century attention while zapping them with some worthwhile wisdom.”—Today’s Catholic
“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
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 I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón (Piñata Books, 2011), 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 pablotorrecilla.com.
GABRIELA BAEZA VENTURA is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of Houston. She has translated numerous children’s books, including Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia (Arte Público Press, 2014), There’s a Name for this Feeling: Stories / Hay un nombre para lo que siento: Cuentos (2014), Adelita and the Veggie Cousins / Adelita y las primas verduritas (2011) and Remembering Grandma / Recordando a Abuela (2003).
Learn more by visiting her faculty page.
ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grades
Category: Picture Books
ATOS English: 2.5
ATOS Spanish: 2.2
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 156456