Thursday, June 24, 2021

Review: 21 Cousins by Diane de Anda

 

21 COUSINS
by Diane de Anda
Illustrated by Isabel Muanoz
Star Bright Books
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8









Tall, short, big, small, athletic, artistic . . . cousins may look different and have different interests and abilities, but that just makes them one extraordinary family! From Maricela's bilingual spelling skills to Mario's tech whiz abilities, no two cousins are alike--and that's just the way they like it. All the cousins are muy entusiasmados for the surprise at the end of their family gathering! Diane de Anda cleverly highlights the beautiful diversity of Latino and mestizo families as readers are introduced to each cousin. Isabel Mu�oz's whimsical illustrations are filled with rich details, delivering a cornucopia of color for young readers. Featuring a mix of skin tones, personalities, and abilities, 21 Cousins is a delightful read that invites children to appreciate the rich heritage of Latino culture.


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MY TIDBITS

A huge family can means a large variety of relatives and having 21 cousins promises something unique with every single one.

Maricela's family is Latino, but the 21 cousins are anything but alike. Each one has a different appearance, talents and interests which make them very unique and special.

I found this one interesting, not only because it promotes the wonderful aspect of family but reminds me of my own larger one, since we hit about that same number for several generations now. I do enjoy how the author presents each one, illustrating their differences and how they are seen. It's fun that each one has a nickname, fitting to one of their attributes. The illustrations depict them all in positive lights and show how neat it is to have such a variety in the family. And none is better or worse than any other.

The first page holds quite a bit of text, which made me wonder, but this quickly changes for the rest of the book. Each cousin is presented in a few, short sentences, which will be simple for the intended age group to understand. While the huge variety of attributes and differences is visible in each illustration, I was surprised that the author seems to concentrate on hair...but then, the intended audience will also tend to center in on simple yet visible differences in their own family, when describing them. While each one is shown with a difference appearance (to show how such things don't matter), the interests of each one is also widely varied, but interestingly enough, often concentrates on sports. Also, I was surprised at how the 'over-weight' cousin was presented. 

In general, this is a lovely book, which fulfills its purpose well and shows that just because people are related, doesn't mean they are very similar. Varity is golden, and not only in these pages.



And here they are...

Author Diane de Anda cleverly highlights the beautiful diversity of Latino and mestizo families.

Isabel Muñoz’s whimsical illustrations are filled with rich details, delivering a cornucopia of color for young readers. Featuring a mix of skin tones, personalities, and abilities, 21 Cousins is a delightful read that invites children to appreciate the rich heritage of Latino culture. This book is intended for children ages 4-8 and it is available in both English and Spanish.


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