Written by Andrew Avner

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“A charming and engaging fantasy with characters readers will love and a strong positive message.” —Kirkus Reviews

Author: Andrew Avner
Narrators: Brad Raider, George Spielvogel, Malili Dib, Yolanda Corrales, Leila Cohen, Andrew Avner
Length: 2 hours and 57 minutes
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Released: Jun. 26, 2020
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

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A story that evokes beloved films such as Babe and Ratatouille.

Alicía Catalina Cortés is a fast and fiery Spanish cow who desperately wants to run with the bulls in Pamplona - but since she’s a cow, tradition forbids her to partake in the fiesta of San Fermín. Through her journey, Alicía learns that to be noble and brave, she must follow her dream and her heart, even if it means defying tradition.

Toro is set in the colorful backdrop of Pamplona, Spain during the fiesta of San Fermín and the running of the bulls, famed as one of the most exhilarating, dangerous, and spectacular events around the world.

Willow's Review

5 Stars

This audiobook was provided by its author, Andrew Avner, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, Andrew!

FORMAT READ: Audiobook (Recommended)
SIMILAR VIBES: Coco (yes, the movie)

I had so much fun listening to the calming, feel-good audiobook of this story about bulls and matadors. From the sound of hooves to lighting a match stick… you’ll hear and feel all of it I promise!

Hear me out, despite the fact it’s centered around a family of cattle basically (and that it's supposedly aimed towards a younger audience than I am), themes of feminism and empowerment were still so prevalent the whole time. Metaphors and comparisons to the male dominant sectors of our own society was what I mainly got from Toro, which always equivalents a good read.

Alicia was a great driving force to the plot while not failing to keep me entertained. It follows her as she strives to find a way to get into that arena with matadors despite being told that she cannot participate as she is a *cow* and not a *bull*. I don't think I have read a book with this kind of plot before so it was intriguing for me to begin with. Especially since it's told from the perspective of the actual animal. She kind of goes on this little adventure since she's trying to hide from her father that she's participating in said activity.

Toro is definitely the proper length that children of a young age would enjoy and not get bored of so easily. Especially with the audiobook, that is only 3 hours long, and sound effects that make the narration much more entertaining.

It’s well performed by a FULL CAST (Brad Raider, George Spielvogel, Malili Dib, Yolanda Corrales, Leila Cohen, and Andrew Avner) that just made it a lot easier to track all the different characters and make distinctions of them in my head. I don't think I have read other audiobooks by any of these narrators before but the casting of the voices were just spot on and they just fit feel of Toro so well. I listened to it mostly at nighttime, pacing was a little slow for my personal taste, but I felt like I was being a read a bedtime story to with how soothing the overall effect was.

As a musician, I enjoyed the classical Spanish vibe music that was playing in certain scenes. I actually thought that they played the right music at all the right spots. It made me, specifically, feel nostalgic since they were pieces that I used to play and that just contributed to my overall enjoyment.

Andrew Avner actually writes and produces short films over at Disney and this book definitely gives me those slightly whimsical but quirky vibes that younger audiences (and myself) love. Together with a plot that audiences of all ages can still take a lesson or two from.

Meet the Author: Andrew Avner

Andrew Avner graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Television. After working in Manhattan with Academy Award-winning producer David Brown, Avner relocated to Los Angeles to develop his own original material. He's currently writing and producing short films for The Walt Disney Company while penning his next novel.

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