cover image My Big Family

My Big Family

Yanitzia Canetti, illus. by Micha Archer. Reycraft, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4788-6790-6

Mama bends over to consult with her son, Alex. “Alex, how would you like it if our family were bigger?” He’s delighted— his abuela is arriving from Cuba, and she’s going to share his room. Crisp draftsmanship by Archer (Daniel’s Good Day) seeds mixed-media artwork with diverting objects and patterns. In Alex’s room, which “looks like a planetarium,” his abuela sits on her bed leaning forward, fascinated by what Alex is telling her. The next day, there’s more news: his aunt and three cousins are coming from Cuba, too. “The bigger the better,” Alex says. The cousins tumble and play, and the smell of cooking food fills the house and “brings us all to the table hungry.” Another cousin appears. “Where eight can fit, nine can fit,” Papa proclaims. Then, just as suddenly, it’s over: “Tia Celia and your cousins are moving to their own apartment with Abuela,” Mama says, but she has some good news: she’s expecting, so a sibling is on the way. By showing how this family’s members help each other survive and thrive in a new country, Canetti (Rhyming Tongue-Twisters: Animals) fills a crucial niche with this affirming look at nonnuclear families. Ages 3–7. (Apr.)