cover image Picture Purrfect (Bodega Cats #1)

Picture Purrfect (Bodega Cats #1)

Hilda Eunice Burgos, illus. by Siara Faison. Holt, $16.99 (144p) ISBN 978-1-25090-374-7

Burgos (The Cot in the Living Room) centers the relationship between a stray cat and a Dominican American boy who loves to draw in this family-oriented series opener about the bonds that make life sweet. On a cold winter night, Miguel Rosado rescues a hungry black-and-white cat outside of Blanca y Roja Bodega, his family’s Washington Heights store. Urging from elderly Tío Diego (“Doesn’t Miguel need a pet? Especially since the poor child doesn’t have any siblings”) prompts Mami and Papi to reluctantly allow Miguel to keep the cat, which he names Lolo. Lolo happily settles in as the bodega’s mouser and runs off feline interlopers, and Miguel decorates his litterbox with drawings. He even creates comic books about Lolo despite Mami and Papi’s protests that art is a waste of time. Miguel soon tricks his parents into permitting him to join an art club rather than the after-school science club they’d prefer, but his subterfuge ends in near disaster. Faison’s cozy illustrations, depicting Miguel, Lolo, and the surrounding community, buoy this lively portrayal of the many forms that bravery, kindness, and connection can take. Ages 7–10. (July)