Spanish / Mexico
Yo te pego, tú me pegas
(I hit you, you hit me)
Ramos Revillas, Antonio
Mijangos, Amanda (illus.)
México, D.F.: Ed. 3 abejas, 2016. –  p.
(Coedition with Secretaría de Cultura, México)
Harassment | Hatred | Empathy | Masculinity | Picture book
Reading age: 10+
White Ravens issue: 2017
This story bowls the reader over with unbelievable force. In sentences that seem carved in stone, each hitting the mark, Antonio Ramos Revillas tells the tale of a boy whose environment almost destroys him. Shy and a little fearful, Bruno endures the coldness, malice, and antagonism of his family and classmates. Once he is only a ghost of his former self, it’s his little brother who saves him by awakening Bruno’s compassion and empathy. All the hardness crumbles. The story is definitely addressed to older readers, yet has the look and format of a picture book. Amanda Mijangos’s dismal, threatening illustrations correspond closely to the text. At the same time, they interpret it freely, adding a whole other level to the story: Bruno is represented as a bright yellow canary in the midst of black crows, trapped behind cage bars, threatened by dangerously dangling strings, pointy beaks, and sharp claws. This book will long reverberate in readers’ minds.