|Catalina incognito (Catalina Incognito)
Author: Torres, Jennifer
Eight-year-old Catalina Castaneda uses Tia Abuela's sewing kit to turn ordinary clothing into a magical disguise, enabling her to uncover a thief at the local library.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 520162
School Library Journal (05/01/22)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2022 Gr 1–3—In this first installment in a new delightful series, Mexican American Catalina Castañeda turns eight, receives a magical sewing kit from Tía Abuela, learns to try new things, and solves a mystery. Torres successfully strikes a balance between the realistic family-oriented plot and the light infusion of magical elements. Readers have ample opportunity to get to know good-natured "persnickety" Catalina, who pays close attention to detail, organizes her books by color and author's last name, and is outgrowing her family nickname "Kitty-Cat." The story zips along as readers become invested in Catalina's quest for the truth. The inclusion of Spanish terms and phrases lends a sense of authenticity to the characters, while the use of English translations organically integrated into the narrative will assist young readers with comprehension without pulling them from the story. Foreshadowing and black-and-white illustrations help readers both predict and visualize the key magical moments in the book. Chapter book readers ready for slightly smaller font with some advanced words will enjoy Catalina's spunk and humor, her relationship with her sparkly Tía Abuela, and the way in which Catalina learns to navigate the world. Simultaneous publication of volume 2, The New Friend Fix, with volume 3 and 4 planned for later in the year ensures that children will get a chance to go on more magical mystery adventures with Catalina. VERDICT A strongly recommended choice for chapter book collections. Hand to fans of Mindy Kim or JoJo Makoons.—Eva Thaler-Sroussi - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/01/2022 This start to the Catalina Incognito series follows Catalina Castañeda, a Mexican American eight-year-old who is given a magical sewing kit. Catalina is initially disappointed in the gift from her telenovela star of a great-aunt, Tía Abuela, who also happens to be her namesake. But when the rhinestones are stolen out of one of Tía Abuela’s theatrical costumes, Catalina must use the magical sewing kit to create a disguise that can help her investigate, solve the mystery, and catch the thief. Catalina’s voice is simultaneously sweet and sassy, creating an image of a young person who wants to be taken seriously by the adults around her, knows that she has talent, and is capable of problem-solving. Accompanied by Jose’s charming illustrations, Torres’ story reminds readers that with some paciencia y fe (patience and faith) in oneself, plus encouragement from loved ones, kids can achieve their goals. Catalina is a hilarious middle child, and readers will delight in her intuitive observations of the world as she sleuths and sews her way into their hearts. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.