.A bilingual picture book that will be #1 this spring!
From a talented team, this hilarious tale of competition run amok is told with a sprinkling of Spanish and a heaping spoonful of charm.
Which is better, brains or brawn? In a small village, Hercules is known for his great strength and Socrates for his keen intelligence. Whenever the villagers have a problem, they go to one or the other for help. Each man believes that he is the most important person in town. And the two fight about it constantly. Who, their neighbors wonder, will resolve the question that instigates all this bickering?
The villagers realize they must settle the argument once and for all by finding out who is "número uno." They devise a clever test, and Hercules and Socrates, each sure he will win, go along with it. The answer is a surprise for everyone
"I came up with the idea for Número Uno in sixth grade when the class was asked to write fables. I thought that these two characters, one with outstanding intelligence and one with exceptional brawn, would together create an entertaining story. It could also carry a valuable lesson, as fables do. The story was originally set in China, but to me it is universal. We later decided to change to a Spanish-speaking setting, which I am more familiar with.
"I grew up bilingual, speaking English and Spanish, and have visited many Latin American countries, including going to school there for a short while. I'm now sixteen years old and am enjoying living in Seattle. I spend much of my free time going to the nearby mountains (like Hercules and Socrates do in the book), in my case to snowboard. I alsocreate my own stories through taking photographs, a few of which have now been published. I stay busy with playing baseball and going to high school.
"As we wrote the book, the story stayed essentially as I originally had it, though we went through seemingly endless numbers of revisions and ended up changing details in the process. Writing a book with your dad is definitely not the easiest of tasks. At some points we reminded ourselves of the bickering characters in the story. Ultimately we were able to work together to create what I hope is a book you'll enjoy."-Alex Dorros on the creation of Número Uno with his father Arthur Dorros
In their small Mexican town, Socrates and Hercules are each convinced that he is the most important. Hercules is strong; Socrates is intelligent. When the villagers need a bridge, Socrates does the planning. But when they need help building, Hercules does the lifting and carrying. Both insist on being "Numero uno." To settle their argument, the villagers agree that the two must go away for three days so they can see who is needed the most. Hercules and Socrates continue to argue through the days and nights, even as they need both strength and intelligence to survive. When they return to the village, they find that both are needed there as well. What the village has not needed, however, is their arguing. There is a folk-like quality to the oil paint and graphite double-page visuals of landscape and village, with people and scenery rendered more suggestively than sharply defined. The focus is, of course, on the two quarrelers in their sombreros, interacting despite themselves. The words of Spanish that add spice to the lighthearted tale are easily understood in context.
Arthur Dorros has written many highly acclaimed bilingual books, including Abuela and Isla. He and his son, Alex Dorros, who also is bilingual, collaborated on this book, which is Alex's first and is based on a story Alex wrote at age twelve. They live in Seattle.
Susan Guevara has illustrated many books for children, including the Chato series. Her books have been named New York Times Best Illustrated and ALA Notable Children's Books, and have won the ALA's Pura Belpré Award for Latino books. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.