From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3–Grandpa Max says that kindergartener Ollie looks just like his brother Winthrop did in 1924 when he was the shortest kid in his class. Then, it is revealed that Ollie strongly resembles his brother Angelo because both have hair that sticks straight up. Charming illustrations highlight the similar traits within an extended family, including those shared by first cousins once removed, second or third cousins, or even half-siblings. The endpapers consist of a genealogical diagram of the whole family, and include pictures of everyone mentioned in the text. While the book has the feel and the vibrancy of a picture book, the implied concept–how genetic traits like hair color or left-handedness are shared by some family members and not others–seems far beyond its intended audience. Even so, youngsters may simply enjoy comparing their own traits to those of the characters in the story and to think about their own families–and perhaps that is enough.–Alexa Sandmann, Kent State University, OH
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Gr. 2-4. With lively colored-pencil portraits of one extended family, Isadora's latest book celebrates connections and diversity across several generations. She begins with Ollie, the shortest kid in his kindergarten class, who looks just like Grandpa Max's brother, who, back in 1924, was the shortest kid in his
class. Grandpa says that Ollie also looks like his cousin Angelo, and that both boys look like "their first cousin once removed Roger, who has large ears that he can wiggle just like his granddaughter Sidney and his uncle Melvin." It all sounds great, but kids will surely wonder what the term cousin once removed
means. Isadora tries to explain in a note, but most kids will still be confused, even though the family tree on the endpapers does help. What works best here are the wonderfully individualized portraits, some of them showing interracial connections. Whether the topic is dimples, eyebrows, or long second toes, this book will stimulate kids to explore their own family roots. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved