COUSINS by Elisa Amado


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 8
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Sin, Confession, and Forgiveness are the dominant themes in this spare tale of a bi-cultural child shuttled between worlds. Though she lives with her widower father and nonreligious grandmother Mimi, after school each day the narrator goes to the extended household of her Abuela Adela for a refacción (snack)—where, fascinated by a statue of Niño Jesús and jealous of cousin Mariana, who is about to make her First Communion, she one day impulsively pockets Abuela’s beautiful rosary. Garay sets the episode in no identifiable country, but the furnishings, decorations, colors, and brown-skinned people in both houses add up to a distinctly southwestern or Hispanic look. A restless night later, the child steals away to a church, where a young priest hears her tale and takes her back to her Abuela’s for a remorseful confession, mild chiding, then hugs and kisses. The tone is earnest, but there is no preaching—and not only will young readers or listeners understand this child’s motives, her religious and family issues are sure to spark reflection and discussion. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-88899-459-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2004


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