Saturday, April 19, 2008

Uncle Bobby's Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen - review

Uncle Bobby's Wedding by Sarah S. Brannen
Uncle Bobby is Chloe's favorite uncle, and when he announces that he is getting married, she is worried that she won't occupy the same special place in his life. But she gets to know Bobby's intended, and gets involved in planning the wedding, and it's all good.

You know, it's hard to find good picture books about weddings. You wouldn't think, would you? But I did a whole big search last year and the best I could do were some flower girl books, or books in which the kid is supposed to behave and finds it difficult... nothing that had stuff in it like,

"'We're getting married,' said Uncle Bobby.
Mama whooped and hugged him. Daddy shook hands with Jamie. Everyone was smiling and crying and laughing.

This is what you want to convey to kids about marriage. Mama tells Chloe, "When grown-up people love each other that much, they want to be married." Not that friggin complicated, but try to find books that express this - it's not easy!

Thing is, Uncle Bobby is marrying his boyfriend Jamie, so this book, which does not treat Bobby and Jamie's gender as worthy of mention (which is great), is not going to be selected as a terrific Life Changes book, but instead as a terrific Diversity book. Sigh. So I still don't have a book to hand the Mother of the Flower Girl (not to mention the Mother of the Ring Bearer - hoo boy, that's one of the hardest roles in the whole wedding, and totally underappreciated).

Anyway, every library should have Uncle Bobby's Wedding, not least because the two gay boy hamsters look so happy on their big day.


Joe Kort said...

I agree completely with your review. I am a gay uncle and bought this for my niece and nephews :) I married my partner in 2000.

Thanks for posting this.

Esther said...

Great review! You're right - the two hamster boys do look very happy. I've read the book, and it's so sweet and adorable. I mean, I was practically in tears standing in the children's section at Borders flipping through it.

Plus, I like the whole low-key way the matter is handled. It's no big deal that two male hamsters are getting married - it's just accepted very matter of factly. Instead, the focus is on everyone as an individual - Chloe's relationship with her uncle and her fear that it'll change after he gets married.

And wow, wouldn't the world be a better place for children if every kid had a caring Uncle Bobby and Uncle Jamie in their life. I think so!

I found your site from your comment on Jamie LaRue's blog. And I also wrote something supportive on my blog.

Thank goodness for courageous librarians!