Children - Picture Book
32 Pages
Reviewed on 05/19/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Do you have cousins? How many and where do they live? Are they close to you in age? Do you see them at family gatherings? All living creatures have cousins. It’s part of that wonderful, elaborate connection known as a family tree. Sometimes we know our cousins; sometimes we don’t. But they’re out there and they are a part of your family, just like you. Even bushy-tailed squirrels have cousins – and lots of them. There’s so much you can do with cousins, but the important thing is that cousins can be best friends for life, even when you don’t live close enough to get together regularly.

Marnie Reynolds-Bourque’s picture book story, Cousins, is a different type of story that addresses family connections. There aren’t many books about cousins and extended family connections, so this book is an interesting gem to help young readers understand how a large family is interconnected. The book is designed for interactive conversations between the child and parent/guardian. Complete with colorful illustrations, focusing on the squirrel family as a non-partisan example, each page has only a few simple words so young readers can increase their reading vocabulary. At the end are some family tree examples to demonstrate where and how cousins fit into the extended family perspective. This provides a visual concept of how the family units are connected, while the parent/guardian can fill in the blanks of their own specific family bonds. It’s interesting that the author includes family friend connections, what we used to describe as courtesy aunts, uncles, and cousins – family without the blood ties that bind. Beautifully and compassionately presented.

Doreen Whiteley

Love love love this book! Giving as a gift to my nieces.