The Cousins

Judith Caseley, Author Greenwillow Books $12.95 (24p) ISBN 978-0-688-08433-2
Caseley's verbose presentation centers around two precocious first cousins, Jenny and Jessica, and their parents' unwillingness to accept their inherent talents. (Jenny loves ballet dancing and hates her art lessons, while Jessica prefers painting and loathes dancing.) The families' attempts to fit the girls into preconceived behavioral patterns, and the efforts of the grownups to make comparisons with other family members, ultimately prove more disappointing for the adults than the girls. Even though they are as different as ``night and day'' and ``chalk and cheese,'' intrinsically these high-spirited cousins are ``one of a kind'' who, regardless of their parents' opinions, wholeheartedly love what they do--and each other. Overall this is a somewhat disappointing, inconclusive book; and although Caseley's lively pictures have clever, thematic border designs, her narrative is weakened by uninteresting characterizations and repetition of meaningless details. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/1999
Release date: 09/01/1999
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