Summer Is for Cousins

Abrams. May 2023. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781419757334.
K-Gr 3–Every summer, Ravi and his extended family journey to a rented house on the beach for a vacation spent all together. This year, everyone seems older, especially Ravi’s oldest cousin Dhruv, and Ravi experiences some shyness around his more mature relative. But summer is for cousins, and it is also for ice cream, which gives Ravi the inspiration he needs to create a dessert that further enhances the close-knit bonds within his multifaceted family. The feeling of a childhood summer pours from the pages of this book thanks to its vibrant colors and dynamic visuals. The illustrations are an homage to the crayon-centric drawings children often create to document their memories, and visible outlines and cartoonlike imagery are used throughout. Overt facial features help readers recognize the emotions playing out on the faces of Ravi’s family, as well. Told from Ravi’s perspective, this story invites readers in from the first pages, and audiences will appreciate the joy that Ravi exudes while vacationing with his loved ones. This narrative speaks particularly strongly to families who come together from far away for a special week every year, though it is accessible as a window to readers who do not share Ravi’s experiences.
VERDICT This is a fun book to include in library collections that showcase families in their many forms.

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