Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

When My Cousins Come to Town

Rate this book
Voted "Best Books for Kids 2021" by New York City Public Library

A fun, lively story of Black family and cousin culture that celebrates individuality and embraces differences.

Fitting in can be hard, but standing out isn't easy either!

Every summer a young girl eagerly waits for her cousins to come visit and celebrate her birthday. All her cousins are unique in their own ways and have earned cool nicknames for themselves... except for the girl. But this year things are going to be different. This year before summer ends, she's determined to earn her own nickname!

Filled with warmth, love, and laughter, When My Cousins Come to Town brings all the energy and love of a big family to prove that you don't need to be anyone else to be special--just the way you are is exactly right!

32 pages, ebook

First published May 4, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Angela Shanté

5 books35 followers
Angela Shanté is the award-winning author of The Noisy Classroom, a picture book that she wrote about her third grade classroom to help soothe childhood anxiety associated with school and change. In the classroom she taught emergent learners through college; specializing in literacy and curriculum development.

After leaving the classroom Angela worked in publishing for traditional and educational publishers as an Editor, Children’s Book Acquisition Editor and Consultant. With one leg in education and the other in the creative world, Angela divides her time around her passion (1) advocating for more diversity in publishing, (2) consulting with different organizations/schools, and (3) running Sunday Dinner Publishing, an indie publishing company she co-founded with three educators/friends, and (4) hosting the podcast First Generation Problems, a podcast about being a first generation college graduate. Angela currently lives in Southern California with her husband and dog (Blue).

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
46 (29%)
4 stars
64 (41%)
3 stars
43 (27%)
2 stars
3 (1%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews
May 11, 2021
This is an adorable children's book that celebrates the joy of being unique.
Every summer, a young girl's cousins come to town and they all have something special about them that wins them a nickname. One cooks well and is nicknamed "Spicy", one cracks jokes and is nicknamed "Giggles." Whenever the narrator tries to imitate and do the same as her cousins, she always comes up short. But this is the year that she will get her own nickname...hopefully.
I loved that this book celebrates the special things about each one of the cousins and none of the qualities rely on super abilities, just what makes each one unique.
This is a lovely story that kids will enjoy when they feel as if they don't measure up to others, it's about finding and celebrating what makes you distinctively "you"!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Andrea Librarian.
158 reviews1 follower
August 26, 2021
So cute. And it reminded me of my passel of cousins too. :D Read to anyone who has a big family or is feeling lost in their friend group.
Profile Image for Nanny Miss Monique .
75 reviews2 followers
May 9, 2021
As a kid, those fun times visiting with our cousins, or even "play cousins", are some of the most lasting memories from our childhood. 'Cousin Culture' plays a significant role in Black & Brown communities, creating lifelong bonds and giving people a constant sense of connection. I was really impressed with poet & educator Angela Shante's "The Noisy Classroom", and equally excited to read her latest "When My Cousins Come to Town". Shante has really outdone herself, creating a cute, endearing story, narrated by your littlest cousin.

Beautiful, smart, and talented brown-skinned children are the star in this book. It is very obvious from the first page that "When My Cousins" is a celebration of family, heritage, and self-worth. Keisha Morris visualizes this coming-of-age story perfectly, with vibrant color, sophisticated detail, and texture that sets it apart. Children can definitely identify with the characters, and will recognize themselves and their loved ones in this book.

My daughter and I had alot of fun reading this book at bedtime. She's always asking when she can play with her cousins again, and when they get together, it's always a special time. Angela Shante truly captures that feeling, while teaching children that family will take care of you, and loves you for who you are!
Profile Image for Jessica.
228 reviews18 followers
April 11, 2021
Through the eyes of a young girl, we get to see firsthand the special bond between cousins. As the summer winds down, the girl worries she will spend another year as the only cousin without a nickname. But when disaster strikes on her birthday, she not only has to save the day, she steps into the spotlight, earning her new nickname. Finally, a celebratory story for cousins everywhere!
Profile Image for April Rasdal.
21 reviews
April 5, 2021
Loved this book about family and the things that make each of us special.

Thank you to the author and publisher for the signed advanced copy!
February 4, 2021
I am in love once again! If you loved The Noisy Classroom by @authorangelashante, you will absolutely love this book, When My Cousins Come to Town. It’s a story about joy, family, authenticity, and earning your stripes.

Fitting in is hard, but standing out isn’t easy either.

Every summer a young girl eagerly waits for her cousins to come visit and celebrate her birthday. All her cousins are unique in their own ways and have earned cool nicknames for themselves—except for the girl. But this year things are going to be different. This year before summer ends, she’s determined to earn her own nickname!

This is a story that you don’t want to miss out on! It is released May 2021! Go to Amazon to preorder!
#indieauthor #indieauthorsneedallthelove #isupportindieauthors #books #blackjoy #reading #read #blackfamily #literacy
Profile Image for Jennifer.
781 reviews7 followers
June 17, 2021
Spice makes the most memorable curry chicken. Stone is the strongest at the pool. Twins Star and DJ-E serenade on the subway. Swift leaves everyone in her dust. Giggles cracks everyone up. The Ambassador keeps the peace. Among her cousins, the youngest remains anonymous...her anxiety finally breaks when her birthday gift falls between the cracks. Only the smallest “smurf” can redeem it, and a nickname is born! “To the smallest cousin in all the Cousin Worlds, we love you just the way you are.” This story and its textured, multimedia illustrations deserve a star for every finger-- “I can feel it in my pinky!”
Profile Image for Aolund.
1,251 reviews9 followers
June 28, 2021
The protagonist of When My Cousins Come to Town looks forward to her cousins' annual summer visit each year. Each of her cousins has a special nickname that honors something special and distinctive about them, and she really wants this to be the year that she gets a nickname herself! This story of friendship, family, and the balance between personal confidence and social recognition unfolds in a skillful and engaging way, and could be used to talk about self-confidence and social emotional skills. Main character and her cousins are Black.

Themes: Be Yourself, Confidence, Family, Summer, Nicknames
Age range: Preschool-Early Elementary
Profile Image for Mary.
15 reviews
June 7, 2021
When My Cousins Come to Town is a great book for a few reasons. 1 - It is a nice illustration of how some cultures define words differently than others. In this book, the word cousins. 2 – It is a diverse book without being too wordy to use with preschool age children. 3 – The message of being yourself is well done. Each of us has a special quality sometimes we just need to wait for it to show.

I have donated it to the preschool in the church where I work, they were very excited to receive it as well.

Thank you Angela Shante!
Profile Image for Amy.
2,649 reviews23 followers
May 29, 2021
I loved this wonderful book about a little girl and her cousins who come to visit every summer. Every cousin has a special nickname that reflects a talent they have or something they like to do. She wants a nickname too and despite her best efforts, feels as though she's failed. In the end, she learns that every individual brings something very special to the table that no one else can. An incredible story with a beautiful message!
Profile Image for Patricia N. McLaughlin.
Author 2 books17 followers
January 5, 2022
Though very text heavy, this is a compelling story of how a little girl receives a special gift from her cousins when they visit her in the city and celebrate her birthday. The priceless gift—worth more than all the gifts in Gift World—officially welcomes the littlest one into the clan. Colorful illustrations show how fun it is for the smallest cuz to run with this pack.
51 reviews8 followers
June 8, 2021
The story tells about the importance of extended family and feeling special within the family. I won my copy from Goodreads and will be donating it to my school library. I know my students will enjoy the story as much as I did.
Profile Image for Pinky.
6,490 reviews14 followers
January 12, 2022
A young girl finally gets her nickname from her cousins.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Katelynne.
781 reviews11 followers
November 19, 2021
Cute. It’s true your cousins are often your first best friends.
20 reviews
December 10, 2022
I really liked this kids book. I like that it is culturally diverse as well. I thought it was cool that each cousin had a unique nickname that they sort of earn. For example, one of her cousins is really strong so he goes by the nickname stone. The main character tries to earn a nickname but struggles to do so. She worries the whole time her cousins are in town that she will not receive a nickname and believes she has to wait another year for one. This story is all about being unique and being yourself and I really like that theme especially for young children.
20 reviews
December 12, 2022
This story is all about family, but also taking in differences. Mainly this could be said to be a very important read to most or all students who come across this book. While again teaching valuable lessons, I think its important to show kids the importance of building or surrounding yourself around family. This book could be considered a class in the future, and the author who wrote this is extremely wholesome.
20 reviews
December 14, 2022
This book shows children different unique qualities of each the characters. The main character has cousins that visit each summer, they all have their own unique nicknames, besides her. When I was growing up my cousins and I were very close and we had nicknames for each other too. As a child I would have related to this book a lot, I also was one of the youngest of my cousins so I would have to do almost everything last.
Profile Image for Amanda.
3,621 reviews30 followers
July 14, 2021
From the moment I opened this up and saw "Cousins are your first friends." I could relate. So much love and humor in this story. I wish that everyone could have cousins that are this supportive and real; it is a blessing.
2 reviews
June 5, 2021
i dont know cause i dont i just need it for my reading degree
Profile Image for Peacegal.
9,798 reviews87 followers
June 17, 2021
This is a happy and joyful little story of a little girl who has several cousins but zero nicknames. Like all of her cousins, she wants a nickname of her very own. Will this be the year she gets one?
Profile Image for Jill.
164 reviews3 followers
March 29, 2022
This is a sweet book about a child wanting to feel part of her cousin group by earning her own nickname. She imitates her older cousins, doing what they did to earn their specific nicknames (running, singing and dancing, negotiating), but to no avail. It was disappointing to me that in the end, she earns her nickname by being small enough to retrieve something from behind the refrigerator. Really? That is her skill? Her claim to fame? I would have preferred her to discover something cool and valuable about herself (that isn't bound to diminish with time). Still, I loved her persistence, and kids will identify with her aspirations. Also the illustrations are adorable.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Shelly Quinn.
52 reviews9 followers
April 5, 2021
I received a copy of this book and immediately sat down and read it. I absolutely loved the story telling.
It is about a little girl waiting anxiously for her cousins to come and visit because this is the summer she hopes to get a nickname. With each page you get to meet a cousin and learn of their skill and nickname. The end of this book will melt your heart!
I can't wait to put this book in my Little Free Library and let everyone in the community enjoy this heartwarming story!
Profile Image for Jessie.
1,941 reviews26 followers
June 13, 2021
The unnamed main character is excited for her cousins to visit for part of the summer. She also really wants a nickname. She introduces us to her cousins along with their nicknames, arising from their talents, and she tries each of their talents, but it doesn't go well. Her cousins' visit ends with her birthday, and when her birthday gift gets stuck in a small space, she rescues it and earns a nickname.

Being the one without a nickname and really wanting one is a shared storyline with The Electric Slide and Kai.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 31 reviews

Join the discussion

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.