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Definitely Dominguita #1

Knight of the Cape

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A new chapter book series featuring a young Cuban American girl who tries to find adventure based on the classics she read with her beloved abuela—can Dominguita become a noble knight?

All Dominguita wants to do is read. Especially the books in Spanish that Abuela gave to her just before she moved away. They were classics that Abuela and Dominguita read together, classics her abuela brought with her all the way from Cuba when she was a young girl. It helps Dominguita feel like Abuela’s still there with her.

One of her favorites, Don Quixote, tells of a brave knight errant who tries to do good deeds. Dominguita decides that she, too, will become a knight and do good deeds around her community, creating a grand adventure for her to share with her abuela. And when the class bully tells Dominguita that girls can’t be knights, Dom is determined to prove him wrong. With a team of new friends, can Dominguita learn how to be the hero of her own story?

144 pages, Hardcover

First published March 21, 2021

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Terry Catasús Jennings

15 books28 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews
Profile Image for Zara.
Author 6 books53 followers
January 24, 2021
DEFINITELY DOMINGUITA: KNIGHT OF THE CAPE is a sweet start to a chapter book series that is full of adventures, mishaps and lots of heart! Dominguita would rather read than play at recess, because reading makes her feel closer to her Abuela who had to move away - but reading at recess makes Dom a target for the class bully, who tells her there is no way girls can be knights. In order to prove him wrong, Dom takes a page from her Abuela’s favorite book, Don Quixote and goes on a quest to do heroic deeds and prove her worth as a knight. Along the way, Dom acquires a squire, a steed and something unexpected, friends. A sweet story perfect for all intrepid adventurers! Thanks to the Author, NetGalley & Simon & Schuster for the eARC.
Profile Image for Alex  Baugh.
1,950 reviews108 followers
April 3, 2021
There's a new chapter book series in town and it's all about a girl with a great big imagination. Cuban American Dominguita Melendez loves to read even more than playing with the other kids in her class during recess. Lately, she's been reading Don Quijote, a book her grandmother loves, to feel closer to her abuela who has recently moved to Florida. But when the class bully, Ernie Bublassi, demands to know why she's reading it, she tells him she's studying to become a knight. Throwing the book into the playground dirt, he tells her girls can't be knights, making Dominguita all that much more determined to do exactly that and go questing for adventure...and to help people in distress.

Dominguita turns to her older brother Rafi for help. Maybe he could write a book about her knightly deeds to send to their abuela? Rafi agrees after finding out that one of the Bublassi bullies is behind Dominguita's idea - he has had run-ins of his own with Ernie's older brothers. The Bublassi's are the biggest bullies in otherwise quiet and friendly Mundytown.

Before long, Dominguita has acquired a lance, a helmet, some armor, and a cape and is transformed into Dom Capote. She also adds a squire named Pancho Sanchez and a trusty steed/stray dog named Rocinante or Roco for short, but will they find adventure on their quests besides rescuing stray bunnies from cats? Yes, indeed. Leave it to the Bublassi bullies to help Dom and Pancho find a new addition to their quests - Stephanie, after one of the Bublassi takes her leg brace. The three new friends roam around Mundytown and perform good deeds, but can they finally put an end to the Bublassi's bullying once and for all?

This is a charming story about a young girl's adventures and how she finds new friends. Dom had also hoped that asking Rafi to help her write her adventures who serve to bring them close together again. Ever since he began high school, Rafi has had not time for Dom and they used to have so much fun together.

I liked that both of Dominguita's parents and her brother Rafi are supportive of her adventures, though they encourage her to make new friends, too. Mundytown is such a friendly place to live. Even when Dom can't pay for her lunch at Pancho's uncle's restaurant, he gives her a job to do to work off the cost instead of getting mad. And the grocery store owner, Mr. Kowalski, is more than willing to go along with things and knight Dom with his heirloom sword.

This is the first book in a new series, and like all first books, much of this one is spent setting the premise for future books. In fact, Book #2, Captain Dom's Treasure is already available (watch this space) and in August, Book #3, All for One, will also be available. These are sure to provide some good reading for younger elementary school kids looking for some fun books.

And just in case you are wondering, yes, Knight of the Cape does include a windmill.

This book is recommended for readers age 7+
This book was an ARC gratefully received from Barbara Fisch at Blue Slip Media
Profile Image for Rachel Sarah.
Author 10 books38 followers
April 10, 2021
We are big Dom fans in our home!, We are game to follow this determined Cuban-American girl who's up for any adventure! A great choice for ages 6-9.
Profile Image for Karinna.
400 reviews16 followers
March 25, 2021
What a great new book series!! I loved both of these books so much! Dom is such a refreshing character to see in a chapter book. Not only is she Cuban, which of course, I am here for my fellow Latinas✊🏼, but she’s also a great example of just being a kid. After her Abuela moves away, she remembers the times they had together by rereading the books she loves. Each Definitely Dominguita book focuses on a Classic. So not only do we get the story of an imaginative young girl, but the reader learns about Classic literature (Book 1 and 2 feature adventures with Don Quixote and Treasure Island).

I wish I had a series like this growing up. It would have been so exciting to see someone who looked like me as an MC and maybe this would have sparked my joy of reading much earlier. I’m excited my nieces, nephews, and little cousins have this series to not only get them excited about reading, but also for the representation.

If you have a younger reader who likes Roald Dahl, Harriet the Spy, or Judy Moody, then definitely pick up Definitely Dominguita!
Profile Image for Barbara.
13k reviews268 followers
March 14, 2021
Dominguita Melendez would rather keep her nose in her books than reach out to make friends, something with which many of us can relate. But after her grandmother moves to Florida, she fears that the elderly woman will forget her. Inspired by the classic Don Quijote, one of the books the two of them used to read aloud, she decides that she too will become a knight and search for adventures. She also wants to silence Ernie Bublassi, a bully at her school who insists that girls can't be knights. With the help of her brother Rafi, who promises to create a book about her adventures for their grandmother, Dom puts on a cape and sallies forth. Along the way, she gains some helpers, including a dog, and makes a couple of new friends, and while her feats may not be as heroic as she had originally imagined, they show what sort of character she has and that she is one damsel who isn't in need of rescue. This chapter book for early readers will appeal to anyone who has been an underdog or dreamed of standing up to the bullies in their lives. The similarities between this book and the original one that inspires Dom will be apparent to anyone whose read Cervantes' story, but the author does a fine job of making the connections easy to understand. The digital illustrations add a dash of fun to the plot as readers can actually see Dom's knight-worthy regalia. It's nice to see a young Cuban-American protagonist like Dom in a book for young readers. This is a worthy debut of a promising series with likeable characters.
Profile Image for Kathie.
Author 2 books64 followers
December 9, 2020
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this book.

This is the first book in a new series about a young girl with a passion for adventure. In this story, Dominguita loves to read her abuela's favorite books that she brought with her from Cuba, and that she left right Dominguita when she recently moved away. Right now, Dominguita is reading Don Quixote, and she's so busy with books that she doesn't have time to make friends with real kids. When she tells her class bully that she's going to become a knight, just like in her stories, she must now search for adventure and people that need her help, and asks her brother to write up her stories so she can prove her brave deeds, and also send them to her abuela so she can share them with her new friends. But it's hard to be a knight all by yourself, and she discovers that having a squire, a steed, and a Master of Cookies might not make the job easier, but it's definitely more fun.

I love Dominguita's spirit, her desire to help others, and her need to stay connected to her abuela who moved away and is losing her memory. I look forward to seeing the final illustrations. I'd recommend it for readers who like Jasmine Toguchi or Lola Levine.
Profile Image for Alysa.
Author 2 books87 followers
February 5, 2021
DEFINITELY DOMINGUITA: KNIGHT OF THE CAPE is the first in a new series of chapter books about Dom, a girl who'd rather read than almost anything else-- except spend time with her Abuela. But when Abuela moves away, Dom is determined to have some interesting adventures she can tell her beloved Abuela about. When she decides to become a knight, much like the hero of her latest read -- The Adventures of Don Quixote -- the town bully tells her girls can't be knights. Dom sets out to disprove that ridiculous assertion and embarks on an adventure around town to do just that -- become a Knight errant by doing good deeds.
KNIGHT OF THE CAPE is a sweet adventure that introduces young readers to classic works of literature, but it also hits on themes of family, the importance of community, and being brave enough to be who you are. I particularly loved that the world of the book takes place in a tight knit community full of varying personalities and that Dom is well supported by her family. This is a great read for young readers!
Thank you to NetGalley and to Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read the eARC
Profile Image for Jessica Vitalis.
Author 4 books145 followers
April 13, 2021
This is a wonderful new chapter book series about a young girl who doesn't see the need for friends––not when she has books to read. But when her abuela moves away and Dominguita is bullied by one of the infamous Bublassi brothers, she makes a plan: she's going to become a knight like the book (Don Quijote) that her abuela used to love to read to her and put an end to the bullying once and for all. She enlists the help of her brother but ends up picking up a squire (who starts out as the "chickenest of chickens" but eventually proves his worth) and steed (who at first isn't interested in adventure but is persuaded by a biscuit) along the way. With the help of supportive community members, Dominguita pulls together a costume (which includes a lance made of a chicken pole and a turkey baster!), gets herself knighted, and even manages a rescue or two along the way. This delightful book is full of adventure and spunk and girl power and is perfect for young readers, who will eagerly anticipate the pirate adventure that is hinted about in book two.
Profile Image for Melanie Dulaney.
1,323 reviews63 followers
November 17, 2021
Terry Jennings’ series about 3rd grade Dominguita/Dom is full of fun, friends, and lots of imagination. But Dom doesn’t start out with much of the first two. Her friend from second grade has moved and so has her much-loved Abuela, but with a plan to become a knight who rescues anyone in distress comes Pancho and Steph and a dog-steed named Roco. The three set out on a quest to do knightly deeds and prove to the Bublassi bullies from school that girls can be brave. Readers in 2nd-4th grade will love watching Dom take a bucket, an old rain poncho, a stick and a discarded baster and transform herself into the neighborhood hero. The story is straight-forward and filled with characters that live in most any neighborhood. Text is sprinkled with references to Latinx cultures. Highly recommended series of stand alone books best placed in libraries serving younger elementary grades.

Thanks for the print arc, Aladdin books and Terry Catasus Jennings.
Profile Image for Brooke - TheBrookeList.
745 reviews7 followers
December 3, 2021
Dominguita is a likeable, kind, and conscientious young girl with imagination and drive. She gets a plan, goes with it, does the things she needs to in accomplishing her quest, and makes friends and helps people along the way. She introduces us to Cuban culture along the way, taking on retellings of some classics. The writing is fun and not difficult (although, perhaps a little mechanical). The illustrations are spectacularly fitting and enjoyable for the story and the audience.

I'm not sure how realistic it is to assume than an early chapter reader has previous knowledge or understanding the basics of the Don Quijote tale (as the story truly does assume - as even a cursory summation of Don Quijote isn't really given). While as an adult, I can understand this story as a retelling of a classic, not sure that will be relevantly understood by an early elementary child.

Checked out at library and reviewed in consideration for Cybils Award Early Chapter book shortlist for 2021.
Profile Image for Kate.
Author 2 books369 followers
December 20, 2020
It’s hard to resist a children’s book when its first line offers a main character who doesn’t want to do anything other than read. DEFINITELY DOMINGUITA: KNIGHT OF THE CAPE is a sweet story about a girl named Dominguita Melendez, who embarks on a quest to prove to the town bully that girls can be knights. Armed with a pail for a helmet and a door for a shield, knight errant Dom Capote (Dominguita’s title) finds a steed (a dog named Roco) and a squire (a friend named Pancho), and sets off to rescue bunnies, defend other kids from bullies, and even tilt at some windmills. Echoing the tale of Don Quijote, KNIGHT OF THE CAPE is such good fun. Young readers will look forward to Dominguita’s next adventure, based on Treasure Island. Thanks to the author, to NetGalley, and to Simon & Schuster for the eARC.
Profile Image for momma_doc_reads.
123 reviews21 followers
March 1, 2021
Happy Sunday! Thank you to @blue_slip_media and @terry.c.jennings for sharing with me this first installment of a great new series for young readers!
Definitely Dominguita - Knight of the Cape is a fun, fresh middle grade retelling of Don Quixote. We are introduced to Dom and her friends as she decides to become a knight to follow in the steps of the hero of her current book, Don Quixote, and offer aid and help to those in her diverse neighborhood.
I loved the path her story took, and how we see her learn some life lessons with the help of her friends and family. The accompanying illustrations are great and add another layer to the story to help your kids connect with it. I also really enjoyed all the descriptions of the delicious Cuban food 😋! I can’t wait for the next in the series!
Profile Image for Donna.
921 reviews22 followers
May 27, 2021
Challenges: Book-A-Day in May 2021 (BONUS: 1/32); Middle Grade March in May (2, adventure); Reading Goal Posts/Stacking the Series - Priority Three/Tier Seven. The first of two books read on this day in May introducing a delightful new series and chapter book for third graders and up. Not a retelling, but more of an adapted reenactment of events that happen in classic literature (here Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra). Dominguita (Dom) has chivalrous adventures because a girl can be a knight too and damsels are not always in distress; people of all kinds need help and Dom learns that even the smallest kindness counts no matter the circumstance. New friendships are found as family and community support her efforts. Mild theme of bullying.
1,172 reviews2 followers
March 26, 2022
I really wanted to like this more, because it seemed so cute! It just wasn't well-written in my opinion. The constant sentence fragments were a choice I wouldn't have made, and I don't know that they're the best model for young kids learning how to write. I also thought that the logic behind the plot was very confusing. Why is saving bunnies not knight-worthy? Despite the fact that the book is trying to subvert gender stereotypes, that seemed pretty sexist to me. I also thought that Dom's reasoning throughout the book was very unclear. For example, why did she decide to be upset with herself after saving a child? I can understand it as an adult reader, but I think a young reader would be left confused. Overall, I would probably recommend other chapter book series.
Profile Image for Amanda Novak.
153 reviews2 followers
March 4, 2021
This was super cute! After reading Don Quijote, Dominguita decides she wants to be a knight. However when a bully tells her that a girl can't be a knight, Dom decides to prove him wrong. She goes around helping others and being the best knight she can be. It is the first in a series and I'm excited to read more.
Profile Image for Sam Subity.
Author 1 book45 followers
April 21, 2021
A seriously fun start to a new chapter book series that kids will eat up about a spunky heroine who's determined to prove that girls can be knights too. Taking her cues from favorite classics that her abuela shared with her like Don Quixote and King Arthur, she sets off on her own adventures and her town will never be the same!
Profile Image for Melissa.
2,321 reviews16 followers
May 4, 2021
Now that her abuela has moved away, all Dominguita wants to do is reread the adventure stories they used to read together. Each classic story: Don Quixote, Treasure Island, The Three Musketeers, inspires Dom’s real life adventures, bringing her together with a team of new friends and giving her great stories to share with her abuela.
Profile Image for Macy Davis.
1,088 reviews2 followers
October 3, 2022
I thought this wasn't bad, but it was just okay. It felt repetitive for a large part of the story. This is the book for October for the book club I'm leading and It'll be interesting to see what the kids think.
Profile Image for Natalie.
1,883 reviews
March 6, 2021
I like middle grade book about books. This skewed a little younger than what I normally read, but I enjoyed Doninguita and her adventures. Plus, there was a dog.
Profile Image for Jacqueline.
Author 89 books85 followers
April 2, 2021
Delightful new series young readers will enjoy. Dom is a spunky character with a love of reading and adventure. This is a book which celebrates creative play and imagination.
Profile Image for Aryssa.
431 reviews49 followers
April 14, 2021
3.5 stars. I really like the concept! I'm just not sure how many readers of this age have ever heard of Don Quixote...
Profile Image for Natalie Aguirre.
135 reviews85 followers
April 27, 2021
This is a great start to a new chapter book series. It was a real page turner that kept me reading. I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.
Profile Image for Annie.
1,347 reviews18 followers
December 18, 2021
Maybe a little too cutesy and nerdy? But a sweet read. I just with this series was easier to track down.
Profile Image for Michelle.
465 reviews18 followers
September 20, 2022
This was a super cute chapter book about friendship, family, and adventure. I look forward to recommending this series to kids looking for modern day adventures!
Profile Image for Serenity.
1,038 reviews7 followers
October 2, 2022
I’ve never read Don Quixote but I found this chapter book to be entertaining and sweet. I won’t hesitate to purchase it for my elementary library.
Profile Image for Earl.
3,216 reviews36 followers
February 10, 2023
A Cuban American girl has bookish adventures as a way to connect with her grandmother who's moved far away and has trouble remembering things. In this first installment, she's off to prove to the school bully that girls can be knights, too, and she's off to find some heroic deeds to do.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 41 reviews

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