Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Dozen Cousins by Lori Haskins Houran, illustrated by Sam Usher

You have to peek inside A Dozen Cousins by Lori Haskins Houran (illustrated by Sam Usher) to appreciate it. You should be able to click to enlarge the images, but in case you can't, the words are:

Anna had a dozen cousins.
All of them were boys.
They smelled like sweaty sneakers,
and they made a ton of noise.

It continues:

They read her secret diary.
They used up all her paint. 
They put a lizard in her hat
to see if she would faint.

The rest of the book is similar, with the little rapscallions using her skirt as a tree and launching her doll in a rocket, building Anna a castle and then attacking it, letting her play the bad guy and tying her to a tree then forgetting to untie her when their game has ended, and more. But, the book ends sweetly:

Anna had a dozen cousins.
None of them were girls.
And Anna, if you asked her,
wouldn't trade them for the world.

A Dozen Cousins has just vaulted to my "new favorites" category because it's one of those sweet, funny books that you can't help smiling all the way through. The illustrations are terrific -- colorful, cheerful, humorous. And, Anna is a great character. Rambunctious as her cousins are (they also hug her and stick ice cubes down her back), she holds her own, smiling at the lizard tucked into her hat, untying herself from the tree. I love it! My granddaughter doesn't have a dozen male cousins but I'm sure she'll enjoy the book when I read it to her (or her parents do). Note that Anna is reading in the two opening spreads. You can't help but love that, eh? Highly recommended.

My thanks to Sterling Kids for the review copy of A Dozen Cousins! Isabel enjoyed it, too.

©2015 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery  or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Oh my gosh, that looks adorable!

    1. It is absolutely delightful, Kathy. Definitely a keeper!

  2. This one looks cute. I have just over 60 nieces and nephews and I sometimes wonder what they feel about having that many cousins. It's crazy!

    1. Wowsers, that's a LOT of nieces and nephews. It would be a great one to read to the little ones in your family, whether they like having dozens of cousins or not. Such a fun book.


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