Book one in a new chapter book series, Catalina Incognito brings the fun and mystery promised to readers in a cute and charming story about family, trying something new, and embracing a bit of chaos.
It’s Catalina Castañeda’s eighth birthday and all through the house, change is stirring—which freaks Catalina out. You see, Catalina—or Cat as her family calls her to her newly-felt chagrin—is what the adults in her life have labeled as quisquillosa (persnickety). She would tell you that she just likes things in particular ways. In Catalina’s mind, closets should be well-organized and she should be able to pick up skateboard tricks by replicating them just so. However, everywhere she turns things are going awry. To make matters worse, her Tía Abuela, who she can always count on to give her the best gifts, has given her the most underwhelming sewing kit she’s ever seen. Thankfully, there’s more to the sewing kit than meets the eye, and under her Tía Abuela’s tutelage she is able to use the kit to create unique disguises. This gift couldn’t have better timing as Catalina stumbles upon a mystery where disguises could help her to save the day. Can she solve the mystery and show her family that she’s got it all figured out—persnickety or not?
As an adult who has lived with a reputation for being picky her whole life, I found myself relating to Catalina and other characters in Catalina Incognito a lot. I could also see the dynamics of Catalina’s role as the middle sibling and how her relationship with her older sister and younger brother played out. I believe that this story is a beautiful integration of family ties, learning how to set expectations for yourself, and following curiosity and imagination where it takes you.