This reading guide is designed to accompany Katie Yamasaki’s picture book When the Cousins Came. Reading Is Resistance sees reading as an opportunity to seed deeper conversations and possibilities for action around racial justice in our communities.
Lesson content was written by Gideon Yamada and was designed to start and deepen anti-bias/anti-racist conversations in families and other learning communities. Editors were Zoe Hernandez-MacDonald and Rachel Crittenden.
FRIENDSHIP, ANXIETY, FAMILY, CONFIDENCE, BRAVERY, MULTI-CULTURAL IDENTITY
THE READ ALOUD
Lila is excited for her cousins, Rosie and Takeo, to come over. The night before, she thinks about all the fun things they’re going to do. She plans to go bike riding, painting and camping. When her cousins come over the next day, everything Lila planned to do goes wrong. When Lila wanted to ride bikes, her cousins decided to ride their skateboards; when Lila wanted to paint, the cousins did it extra special; and when Lila wanted to camp outside, the cousins were too afraid and didn’t want to. Lila felt insecure and anxious because she was left out in many of the activities, until her cousins made her note that read “Firefly tent, home of our best cousin Lila.” This was when Lila’s feelings towards her cousins changed. When the cousins left, Lila finds another note from her cousins inviting her over to their apartment next time. This book is great for children to understand that when plans go wrong, you can still have a great time. It also teaches that negative thoughts and anxiety that can come when feeling excluded do not always reflect reality.