"My younger cousin made me smile."
Translation:Il mio cugino più piccolo mi ha fatto sorridere.
Why is the article necessary? I thought it was omitted when talking about singular family members.
Not when there in an adjective attached. This is helpful: http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare124a.htm
I thought "article + noun + superlative" means "younger cousin". How would you say "my youngest cousin"?
In Maiden & Robustelli I get this enlightening statement: "Unlike English ('the lighter book' vs. 'the lightest' book), or French (le livre plus leger vs. le livre le plus leger), Italian does not usually distinguish comparative and superlative forms."