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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Nuts: Every Family is a Little is a children's picture book written and illustrated by A.J. Cosmo. Wally the squirrel and his family are on their way to a family gathering at Grandma's house, and Wally can't wait for that moment when the presents are given out. His little sister, Pistachio, seems more concerned about her ongoing count of the birds she sees, however, and when they finally do arrive at Grandma's, she gets permission to go off looking for more birds. Wally's dad asks him to stay and help him carry in the presents, which seems a bit unfair. Why does Pistachio get to go off on her own while he helps out? Wally's next task is going to see Grandma Praline, who he knows is going to tell him the coconut story all over again, but when he finally finds an excuse to leave, he's asked to help out in the kitchen. Everybody seems to have something for him to do, and all he wants is to look for the present with his name on it. It's all he can do to wait through dinner until the time for gift giving finally begins.
A.J. Cosmo's children's animal picture book, Nuts: Every Family is a Little, will give most young readers the comforting feeling that they aren't the only ones who find family gatherings just a bit confusing and sometimes upsetting as well. Most will be able to sympathize with Wally as he ends up feeling like all he's doing is helping out and will share his growing excitement as the time for presents gets nearer. I enjoyed reading this tale. It reminded me of holiday gatherings when I was a child, and I'm sure most adult readers will find themselves revisiting the crazy gatherings from their childhoods as well. Cosmo's story is funny, wise and perceptive all at once, and his illustrations are marvelous! Each panel is brightly colored and highly relevant to the story, and the expressions on each of the characters' faces are priceless. Nuts: Every Family is a Little is most highly recommended.