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The Cot in the Living Room

The Cot in the Living Room

This book, with its amiable illustrations, delivers a searing and important message about empathy, with a light and skillful touch. The cot in the living room is a source of envy to a young girl who, in a first-person narration, resents the privileges strangers enjoy in her home. One night she takes the cot for herself and realizes how scary it is to be alone, waiting for parents to return from their work shifts. The Dominican heritage of both author and illustrator are reflected in the characters pictured. D’Alessandro floods the pages with soft pastel colors and fills them with details of family life.
Age Groups: Big Kids
Skills: Empathy
Author: Written by Hilda Eunice Burgos and illustrated by Gaby D’Alessandro

Discussion Questions

  • What does the girl in the story feel about Raquel and Edgardo at the beginning of the story?
  • What changes her feelings about the cot — and Raquel and Edgardo?
  • Have you ever felt one way and then changed your mind because you were able to understand someone else's perspective?