A young Dominican American girl in New York City moves from jealousy to empathy as her parents babysit children whose families work overnight shifts in this honest and warm picture book debut.
Night after night, a young girl watches her mami set up a cot in the living room for guests in their Washington Heights apartment, like Raquel (who's boring) and Edgardo (who gets crumbs everywhere). She resents that they get the entire living room with a view of the George Washington Bridge, while all she gets is a tiny bedroom with a view of her sister (who snores). Until one night when no one comes, and it's finally her chance! But as it turns out, sleeping on the cot in the living room isn't all she thought it would be.
With charming text by Hilda Eunice Burgos and whimsical illustrations by Gaby D'Alessandro, The Cot in the Living Room is a celebration of the ways a Dominican American community takes care of one another while showing young readers that sometimes the best way to be a better neighbor is by imagining how it feels to spend a night sleeping on someone else's pillow.
About the Author
Hilda Eunice Burgos is the author of the middle grade novel Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle (Lee&Low). Her parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic before she was born, and she grew up in Washington Heights as one of four sisters. She now lives with her family near Philadelphia, where she works as an environmental lawyer.
Gaby D'Alessandro is a Dominican illustrator based in Brooklyn. She attended Altos de Chavón in the Dominican Republic and moved to New York to complete her degree in Illustration at Parsons School of Design. Her work has appeared in many publications, and her clients include The New York Times, the Library of Congress, the Botanical Garden of Padua, and New York City's MTA.
Praise for THE COT IN THE LIVING ROOM
2022 ALSC Notable Children’s Book 2022 NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books List 2022 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year A Junior Library Guild Selection Wisconsin Charlotte Zolotow Book Award Honor Featured in Parents Latina
* “The Cot in the Living Room beautifully captures the gifts we receive when we open our hearts to others.” -- BookPage, starred review.
"An important message about empathy, delivered with a light and skillful touch." --School Library Journal
"Between clever quilted endpapers, Burgos and D’Alessandro set a comfy space for readers." --Kirkus Reviews
"The final spreads ... illustrate how understanding can alter a child's perspective. This heartfelt and endearing story should strike a chord with many." --Booklist
"Artwork by D’Alessandro, making her picture book debut, shows the family and their apartment in clean lines and soft, cotton-candy colors. ... 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. --Publishers Weekly
"If you are looking for titles to enhance lessons about predictions, character point of view, or empathy building among the students, this is a strong contender." --School Library Connection
"Emotionally honest, child-centered story illuminating an aspect of some working/working class families’ lives rarely seen in picture books while underscoring the power of empathy and compassion, and the importance of community." -- Cooperative Children’s Book Center