The joke goes, how you would you like to be the brother of Jesus? (Why can’t you be more like your brother Jesus? He walks on water! He heals the sick!) And the same would be true for being the cousin of King Kong. I mean, Kong is big. He is strong. He was in a movie. And Junior? He takes bubble baths, is not very tall, eats his breakfast and known as King Kong’s Cousin.
In classic Mark Teague text and illustrations (though I admit I did not see it until the dinosaur image, but then was DUH! Of course it is Teague!), Junior tries to live up to the footsteps of Kong, but barely can get out of his shadow. That is, until Junior’s beloved cat is stuck in a tree. It is up to Junior to overcome his fear of heights, his nervousness in general and get the job done! Teague created a familiar story of being yourself, trying your best and doing your best will follow. Everyone is a Kong, if you do you.
The fun part of the book is that King Kong themselves never really looks down (expect physically because, you know, they are King Kong and have some size to them) on Junior. They are proud of their cousin. And the other part is nobody really picks on Junior for being smaller. It is just Juniors own frustrations we must deal with. It is just a straightforward, delightful, relatable read.
The text and illustrations are paired nicely, and this allows for all ages to enjoy. There might not be a lot of “car chase” action, but it is clever and keeps your attention.