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A Dozen Cousins by Lori Haskins Houran / Book Giveaway

(Sterling Children’s Books, $14.95, Ages 4-8)
Plus, enter our giveaway to win a hardcopy of the book!


We know it’s cheaper by the dozen, but in the case of A Dozen Cousins, it’s also A LOT more fun!

“Anna had a dozen cousins.
All of them were boys.

They smelled like sweaty sneakers,
And they made a ton of noise.”

Imagine being the only girl with 12 rowdy male cousins. What would your days be like when they came for a visit? Anna’s were anything but quiet. This joyful ode to rough and tumbling, playful and stumbling boys and their only female cousin is pure delight. The rhyme, with its sing song rhythm really never misses a beat. Told with love and laughs, Houran’s picture book draws from her youthful experience growing up with over a dozen cousins. So she knows first hand what types of antics this many kids can get up.

“They helped her build a castle …
Then launched a sneak attack.

They gave her hugs and kisses,
Dropping ice cubes down her back.”

The entire time that Anna and her possessions (including her doll!) are used as objects of entertainment for the lads, she never once arches her eyebrows in anger! Usher’s whimsical illustrations, a cheerful and welcome blend of Quentin Blake meets Helen Oxenbury, depict an understated calmness in Anna, with all her reactions demonstrating a deep affection for her mischief-making young relatives. Ultimately, despite all her cousins’ shenanigans, Anna wouldn’t change a thing about their behavior and is thrilled to be a part of this extended and extremely fun-loving family. An adorable book about a bunch of boys you’ll wish were your cousins. Don’t miss checking out the end papers for a sweet surprise!

– Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

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This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. I have 4 cousins, two girls (if you call being in their 60’s “girls”) and two guys. We only got together at Thanksgiving because we lived fairly far apart, but we had fun. My grandson is going on a trip next month to meet some of HIS cousins.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Connie, and good luck! I saw my cousins more frequently and still remember one of them hiding in my bedroom closet to scare me. It worked. Had to put a lock on it!!

  2. I have 8 cousins and 2 others who I call cousins. I dont live by any of them but we e mail each other to keep in touch. My 2 cousins would always play board games with us (sometimes they would turn the lights off and scare us!) and we would have a big easter egg hunt on my grandparents farm.

    1. Lights out and a big ‘ole scare’ll do it every time. As you may have read, I had a lock installed on my closet door when I was a little girl and I kept my eye on the closet until I nodded out!

  3. I only have 2 cousins!! We have some great memories of trips and holidays together

  4. I have a several cousins, but sadly none of them lived near me so we didn’t really have any “antics”. Hoping my son can have some with his cousins!

  5. I have 5 cousins and we used to run around together all through the summer. Nothing bad, but we came up with elaborate games.

  6. I have eight cousins and we would always hang out at holidays. We liked to pull jokes and stunts on each others.

  7. I have a dozen cousins… didn’t even think about that until now. I just counted. And oh the fun we all would have! Now to start counting all the kids that we have had and even some of those kids have had kids…. that would be a rowdy group!

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