Juana is back. This time she has to navigate the ups and downs of the changes brought on by the new person in Mami’s life.
The way she sees it, “My life is just about perfect.” She lives in Bogotá, “a city that smells of eucalyptus and fresh fruit”; she has the nicest neighbors; Mami is perfect; her abuelos are wonderful; her school “is quite good, too, though math and English are hard for me to learn.” And of course, there is Lucas, “the most perfect perro in the whole entire world.” Lately, though, her life is “a little less perfect.” Mami has changed her hairstyle and is singing a lot, and Juana is spending more time with her relatives and less with Mami. Turns out, “Mami has a new friend. His name is Luis.” As with its predecessor, the Belpré-winning Juana & Lucas (2016), the story is told from Juana’s point of view with humor and drama. The typeset, text, and illustrations are playfully intertwined, with a sprinkling of italicized Spanish words throughout. Medina’s cartoon-style illustrations done in ink and watercolor are vibrant and full of movement, beautifully capturing the full range of Juana’s conflicting emotions as Luis becomes a part of their lives.
Juana’s big problema will resonate with many readers, who will look forward to hearing more about this spunky Colombian girl’s life. (Fiction. 5-8)