Buscando a Bongo

Holiday House. Jun. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823453993.
PreS-Gr 3–A young boy loses his stuffed animal Bongo and searches all around the house asking about him. He asks his mother, father, grandmother, cat, and dog, and no one seems to know where he is. Finally, he finds Bongo near the bongos (a small hand drum used commonly in Caribbean music). The artwork is lively and detailed. Thoughtful attention to detail is seen throughout, with nods to the family’s Afro-Caribbean heritage and love for music and art found in the background. The relatable preschooler and his search for his stuffy will resonate with children, and the painterly, realistic illustrations ground the narrative. Soft browns and tans and spots of red add a layer of warmth to the reading experience. Discerning readers might find Bongo before his owner. The family is Black, and the little boy sports an afro.
VERDICT Much-needed representation and a universal problem make this sweet, family-centered tale a must for Spanish-language picture book shelves.

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