Brown Books Publishing, $16.95, 56 pages
Cinco the Clinic Cat is based on a real cat that the author Carol Brickell met while working at a medical clinic in Honduras. Through a new friendship between a cat and a young girl who lives near the clinic, Brickell tells the story of the medical clinic that provides basic medicine and glasses. Alisa, who only feels in the way at the clinic where her older sister works, spots a new cat one day. Only after the fifth day does the cat stay with Alisa; hence, he is named Cinco, and they become good friends. Together they get involved with others at the clinic, make new friends, and find their own way to help out.
The bilingual (English and Spanish) text is paired with 24 full-page watercolor illustrations by Jim Hastings. The translation into Spanish is accurate, and this story would work well for either bilingual or monolingual read-alouds. The bright tale of friendship introduces some basic social issues such as diversity, charity, inequity, and global responsibility to even the youngest of audiences. According to the book’s website, proceeds from the sale of this book will go to medical charities. It is a story worth sharing.