The Cot in the Living Room

Hilda Eunice Burgos, illus. by Gaby D’Alessandro. Kokila, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-11047-8
“I wish I could sleep on the cot in the living room,” confides the child narrator of this picture book, who has brown skin and dark curls, “but Mami says it’s for guests.” First, Raquel sleeps there, while her father works the night shift at a hospital. When Edgardo’s mother has a singing gig, he sleeps on the cot, too. And Lisa spends the night while her grandmother cleans offices “until way past bedtime.” In each case, the narrator resents sharing the room, and her toys, with the visitors. Artwork by D’Alessandro, making her picture book debut, shows the family and their apartment in clean lines and soft, cotton-candy colors. When at last the narrator gets a night on the cot, things don’t work out well. Then she and her sister make an offer to their next child guest that’s creative and warmhearted. In this story about a tight-knit urban community by Burgos (Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle), parents with small children and tough schedules know they can depend on their neighbors for help. The girl’s parents show flexibility, patience, and true sweetness when their young guests worry. And the girl’s feelings are portrayed realistically as she learns to share her parents, her space—and her friendship. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Gail Gaynin, Morgan Gaynin. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/15/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Children's
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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