- TITLE: My Cousin Momo
- WRITTEN & ILLUSTRATED BY: Zachariah OHora
- PAGES: 30
- ISBN: 9780803740112
- Available on Amazon, here.
Honestly, I could not help but pick up this book simply for how funny the squirrel looks. He’s like a mix of a tourist, a gangster and a famous and random dressing super star. The cover? Gets an A+ in the “laugh out loud” category. AJ and I have had the trend with the last few books we’ve read to choose huge books and this one is no exception. It’s large and filled with vibrant illustrations that appear to be a mixture of mediums. I really like the fact that the story contains both narration and text dialogue through speech bubbles. It makes it a bit more interesting to read than a simple story – plus we can practice our storytelling voices!
Super Speedy Summary
The story follows the flying squirrel on the cover of the book. His cousins (non-flying squirrels) are so excited to visit him for the first time, they expect him to be loads of fun and so interesting to meet. To their displeasure, Momo doesn’t like to play the games they do and not in the way they like to do them. Eventually, Momo becomes alienated when his cousins decide that he doesn’t do things the right way and get angry at him. He starts packing his things to leave, crying, and his cousins notice how sad he is. They give him a chance and try things his way – and some of their games are actually more fun! Eventually, Momo has to leave and his cousins are in fact sad to see him go (and he leaves his “own way”…through flight!).
This book contains so many excellent lessons and morals about a variety of topics including: understanding differences, feeling like an outsider and trying something new. Unfortunately for Momo, in the beginning his cousins don’t quite understand that he’s just a different kind of squirrel. He does things differently, he dances to the beat of his own drum and because of this, his cousins think he’s just weird. I love the fact that the story eventually shows his cousins coming around and trying something new because they realize that just because something is different, doesn’t mean that it is bad. What a great lesson for Addison in the future! She meets someone new, and maybe they do things a bit differently because of their culture, or the way they were raised…and though it might seem “odd” that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. This is such a great story about understanding and being respectful of how everyone has quirks and instead of making them feel bad, trying to see things from their perspective and do them their way!
Ah, how I empathize with Momo! There have been countless times where I have felt like an outsider, like I didn’t belong and truly like there was something wrong with me because I did things differently. It’s not that my ways were wrong, it’s just that people are different, and when you come to a place where everyone is the same, it’s hard not to notice that you’re the outsider. I actually admire Momo so much in this story. When I was in High School I wore the most ridiculous outfits, just because I enjoyed it and because it made me happy – this makes me think of how Momo dresses and acts in this book. It’s admirable in my opinion to be unique and be true to who you are, but that doesn’t take away the pain you feel when people start pointing out your differences.
Finally, I appreciate that the cousins ended up trying things Momo’s way and realizing they liked it. It’s much like how my family and I are currently in another country. I’ve had to learn and adapt to a new culture filled with customs that are foreign to me. Sure, it’s different. And sure, some of the things seem odd or weird to me, but I have tried them and embraced them because I realize that not all people are exactly the same and that’s awesome. A perfect example is sushi. Never tried it before I came to Japan and now I LOVE it!
People are different, and that’s ok! Even if you feel like an outsider, be true to who you are. Try new things, because you never know what you might like more.
This book will be consulted many times in our lives, I’m sure. I want to teach AJ to have empathy and express love for people that aren’t exactly like her. What good would the world be if we were all the same, anyway?
As cute as this book was, and as much as it did speak to a lot of really great lessons, it was a super short story and therefore not exactly worthy in our opinion of a perfect review. This is a good quick story and has some great pictures to look at though, so we give it a happy 4 stars!
We’ll be back next week on Tuesday with some of our new reads, and we have a big announcement about our brand new thing (hint: booktube!)
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