Summer Is for Cousins
From Newbery Honor author Rajani LaRocca comes a celebration of extended family and summertime fun
Summer is for cousins.
Mom and Dad,
Two uncles, two aunties,
Thatha and Pati,
All of us are together.
Ravi can’t wait to spend summer vacation at the lake house with his family—especially his cousins! Summer vacation is for days at the beach, long hikes, paddleboarding, and—of course—ice cream. Ravi and his oldest cousin, Dhruv, had the same favorite flavor last year, but everything feels different now.
Dhruv’s much taller and his voice is deeper. Ravi’s worried that Dhruv won’t be interested in spending time with him, the little cousin. The ice cream shop doesn’t even have their favorite flavor this year. But on the last night of vacation, the cousins decide to make dinner, and Ravi’s in charge of dessert. He only has one special thing in mind!
This picture book all about summertime fun celebrates the resilient bond between extended family members.
During summer, a South Asian–cued family fills a house "that's not any of ours,/ near the ocean/ and a lake" with three generations and seven cousins: "All of us are together." Second-youngest cousin Ravi narrates, describing the family's seasonal activities and observing that the oldest cousin, Dhruv, has developed a deeper voice. Ravi shyly wonders if Dhruv remembers that they share the same favorite ice cream flavor. Expressive lines by Alwar (Hamsters Make Terrible Roommates) offer sketchbook energy in saturated jewel-tone hues to spreads bursting with activity as cousins pile out of cars, descend upon a local ice cream stand, range across the beach, and more. After jumping off a formerly intimidating rope swing, Ravi realizes that Dhruv may have matured, but "now I'm bigger, too." Gleefully reprising the line "summer is for cousins," LaRocca (I'll Go and Come Back) builds to a cousin-made dinner that gives Ravi the opportunity to reveal the favorite ice cream flavor, catalyzing a moment of connection: "Our favorite!" Dhruv says. Conveying the warmth and coziness of a bustling family vacation, the creators highlight the way families can supply companionship, support, and benchmarks for growth. Ages 4–8.