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by Irene Smalls & illustrated by Michael Hays

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-316-79867-3
Publisher: Little, Brown

Jonathan's family must learn to adjust when orphaned cousin Kevin comes to live with them. At first Jonathan feels put out and jealoushe must share his clothes and room with Kevin; at school, the other students take to Kevin's friendliness instantly. When Jonathan asks, ``How come I have to share my clothes? How come he gets to sleep in my bunk bed?'' his mother answers, ``Because you're lucky. You have a home, a family, so many things and so much love.'' After the boys fight, Kevin moves into the guest room (which wasn't mentioned as an option before) and they find they miss each other, eventually becoming inseparable. The story is well-intentioned, and Smalls's heart is in the right placebut the entire venture is stiff with lessons. Jonathan's mother offers textbook reassurances, but her perspective often overwhelms her son's. A teenage sister, Dawn, disappears after two pages, right after she and Jonathan have expressed, openly and without real parental comment, their dislike of Kevin. Hays's illustrations are colorful but static, adding to the atmosphere of bibliotherapy. (Picture book. 4-8)