This book was gifted to me by the Star Bright Books as part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day. The reviews are my own.
21 Cousins/ 21 Primos by Diane de Anda and art by Isabel Muñoz
Summary: Alejandro and Sofia have 21 amazing cousins in this big familia. From the baby nicknamed Pelon to Maria, a college student, every cousin in between is unique. The blend of Indian, Spanish, French,
and others in Mexico. In the end, we find out these siblings and their cousins are gathering together to celebrate a big surprise. This picture book for readers is available in English and Spanish.
What I Enjoyed
▶️ The viewpoint: each of the cousins are described with a very kid-friendly way with very specific details. It blend physical descriptions and stories you might overhear. The illustrations also could be looked at like portraits, which is a play in the family album.
▶️ The diversity: there seems to be every different type of person in this mestizo family. Such an immediate “draw”!
▶️ It’s bilingual: I love that the English version works in a lot of Español! It feels very conversational.
Mentor Text Moments
▶️ High concept book: it doesn’t have a traditional conflict, but the story does have a concept. It explores families, their similarities and their differences.
▶️ The setting: The narrative invites the illustrator to explore a variety of settings that feel very unique to each of the 21 cousins.
▶️ The character designs: the characters are unique and yet still seem consistent! I love the graphic design look!
About the Author and Illustrator
21 Cousins / 21 primos (Picture Book; Ages 4-8; Available April 1, 2021)
Diane de Anda is a professor emerita of social welfare at UCLA and a community voice on violence prevention and stress management among adolescents. She has written eight children’s books and edited four books on multicultural social work. Her work focuses on empowering Latino youth. Diane lives in Play del Rey, California. 21 Cousins is her first book with Star Bright Books. For more details, visit her website.
Isabel Muñoz is a lifelong artist and children’s book illustrator. She studied fine arts at the Complutense University in Madrid, Spain. Isabel loves to dwell on the details of children’s stories that cannot be seen with the naked eye. She lives in Spain. 21 Cousins is her first book with Star Bright Books. For more detatils, visit her website.
For more details about the publisher, Star Bright Books, visit their website
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2021 (1/29/21) is in its 8th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those book into the hands of young readers and educators. Eight years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
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