Celebrating Us: Children’s Books about Weddings

My picture book, Ellen’s Broom (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) debuted yesterday. Yay! It’s a Reconstruction-era story, illustrated by Daniel Minter and published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons, that celebrates family, love and freedom.

Right now, I’m on a 9-day blog tour. At each stop, there  is something special like a review, interview or guest post. You can see the full schedule here, read reviews of Ellen’s Broom here and check out the trailer here.

But I wanted to do something a little different at BBS. Our mission is to raise awareness of children’s book creators of color. So in that tradition, I’d like to celebrate the release of my new book by celebrating others. Below, you’ll find a list of six more multicultural children’s books about weddings.

Please spread the word about these titles and share them with children you know. And if you know of others, please list them in the comments.

Oh, and if you leave a comment on this post or any of my blog tour stops, you’ll be entered in a drawing for the grand prize giveaway – a wedding/anniversary broom donated by Stuart’s Creations and a poster of the Ellen’s Broom cover. Thank you for your support.

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Flower Girl Butterflies (Greenwillow Books) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard, illustrated by Christiane Kromer. 

The Buzz on Flower Girl Butterflies:

“All of the excitement and anxiety of a wedding day are captured in this charming picture book. When young Sarah is asked to be a flower girl in her Aunt Robin’s wedding, the child is consumed with doubts. She worries that she will forget to throw her flowers. She’s nervous about tripping in front of everyone, getting sick, or ruining her new dress. With the loving reassurance of her African-American family, she calms her fears enough to walk down the aisle. After all, she has to be a “big girl” role model for the little ring bearer. This book is a wonderful celebration of family as the grandmothers and several uncles and cousins come to spend the night before the wedding at Sarah’s house. Sarah’s big moment is a perfect splash of pink background and scattered pink petals with the child’s dark skin gleaming against her white flower-girl dress. The lovely bride, in a frothy white gown, follows. The collage textures added to the watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations give the book a tactile look. A warm, family-oriented story that children will love.”

– School Library Journal

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Jumping the Broom (Scholastic) by Sonia W. Black, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu.

The Buzz on Jumping the Broom:

“Upbeat without being preachy or sentimental, these titles in the new Just for You! easy-reading series tell realistic stories of African American family life with excitement and grace. In Jumping the Broom, Erin’s big sister is getting married. Everyone is happy except Erin, who can’t find the right gift–until Grandmother tells her about jumping the broom, a wedding tradition that started among slaves. The characters are beautifully defined in both words and pictures, and many kids will recognize Erin’s pride in honoring her roots . . .”

- Booklist

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Nikki & Deja: Wedding Drama  (Clarion, debuts March 2012) by Karen English, illustrated by Laura Freeman.

The Buzz on Nikki & Deja:

“Ms. Shelby is getting married! As the girls in Nikki and Deja’s class compete over who
can plan the best imaginary wedding for their teacher, Nikki excitedly throws herself
into preparations for the real thing. But Deja is not so enthusiastic. Her Auntie Dee has
been temporarily laid off from her job, and Deja is worried. What will happen now
that she can no longer afford a new dress and special hairdo? Will Nikki leave her best
friend behind while she shops and primps? Will Deja be able to get over her jealousy
and enjoy the celebration anyway?
This is a charming entry in a chapter book series praised for its accessibility, authenticity,
and humor..”

Amazon.com

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Snapshots from the Wedding (Puffin) by Gary Soto, illustrated by Stephanie Garcia.

The Buzz on Snapshots from the Wedding:

“There’s nothing like a wedding, and this book about a wedding is not quite like any other. Soto takes readers to a Mexican American nuptial, and young Maya, the flower girl, is the lens through which the action is seen. All the fun of the event is here: the altar boy with the dirty sneakers under his gown, Maya putting pitted black olives on each of her fingers, the kids whacking one another with balloons. There are the more traditional moments as well–the wedding kiss, the wedding cake, and the toast to the bride and groom. The text’s free verse could have been illustrated in many ways, but the choice of three-dimensional artwork was inspired. Created with Sculpy clay, acrylic paints, wood, ribbons, and flowers, the art is displayed in large boxes set against pages covered with lace. The doll-like members of the wedding are exaggerated just enough to be amusing; at times, just a body part or two are highlighted, as when Maya’s feet are shown on top of her father’s while they dance. Just like a wedding album, this will be looked at over and over.”

– Booklist

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The Wedding (Orchard), by Angela Johnson, illustrated by David Soman.

The Buzz on The Wedding:

“Through the eyes of young Daisy, readers experience and anticipate the preparations for her sister’s wedding-“Long dresses, flowers, wrapped boxes, and tissue-paper rooms-with everybody saying ‘Congratulations.'” The simple text follows Daisy and her family as they celebrate and then say a tearful good-bye to Sister. The last page shows the whole family looking at the wedding photos. As in other books by these collaborators, such as When I Am Old With You (1990), One of Three (1991), and Tell Me a Story, Mama (1989, all Orchard), the illustrations portray a warm, loving African-American family. The distinguished collage artwork conveys the action and the whole range of emotions that the day entails. Both text and illustrations work together to create a seamless experience that is happy, sad, and tender all at once. A perfect book for preparing for that special day.”

School Library Journal

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Here Comes Our Bride! An African Wedding Story (Frances Lincoln), by Ifeoma Onyefulu.

The Buzz on Here Comes Our Bride:

“Far from the reverential, there is a lively mix of the traditional and the contemporary in this photo-essay about a wedding in Benin, Nigeria. Osaere is a doctor; Efosa is an architect. As Onyefulu points out in her introduction, the wedding is a family affair, and the close-up, full-color photos show the formal visits, when the relatives bring all kinds of gifts, including jewelry and foods (kola nuts stand for peace and harmony; schnapps is for the ancestors). After the formality, there is lots of teasing to cement the friendship. Then an old man talks to the ancestors, and Osaere and Efosa are married in traditional robes. Much later, there’s a church wedding (he’s in a tux; she wears a wedding gown), with even more guests, foods, and gifts. A young boy narrates the story, and kids will enjoy learning about the Nigerian ritual while they recognize the universal excitement of wedding pageantry and bonding.”

– Booklist

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18 Responses to Celebrating Us: Children’s Books about Weddings

  1. doretc says:

    Kelly congratulations again on the new release and kudos to you for taking the time to promote the work of others with a new book out.

  2. Wonderful story! Congatulations, Kelly! Your hard work continues to be an inspiration.

  3. kelstar71 says:

    Thank you for checking out the list, Doret! And thanks again for your support of Ellen’s Broom.

  4. kelstar71 says:

    Thank you, Gail! We read your lovely book, Shante Keys and the New Year’s Peas, every year. Never gets old. You inspire me too.

  5. Carolina says:

    What an amazing collection of books! Your website is my find of the day. I will look into a few of these to share with my readers at youngurbanmoms.com. Thank you for posting!

  6. Bola says:

    Whao! Who knew there were that many fine children books about wedding for people of color. Thanks for the exposé.

  7. Tee says:

    Awesome listing, Kelly. Can’t wait to buy my signed copy of Ellen’s Broom!

  8. kelstar71 says:

    @ Carolina, Thanks so much for your kind comment! I appreciate you sharing the list with your readers. In February, we’ll celebrate our fifth annual 28 Days Later campaign. Each day that month, we’ll showcase a black author or illustrator. We’d love if you can join us then too.

  9. kelstar71 says:

    Bola, Thank you for checking out the list and stopping by. Hope you’ll come back again.

  10. kelstar71 says:

    Thank you, Tee! Can’t wait to see you Sunday. Thanks again for coming :).

  11. Ellen’s Broom is an awesome addition to the other great titles!
    The illustrations are wonderful, too.

  12. [...] Big hugs and thanks to everyone who hosted me and Ellen’s Broom – Debbie Gonzales, The Brown Bookshelf, Doret, Kristi Bernard, Cynthia Leitich-Smith,  Jacquitta McManus, Joyce Moyer Hostetter, Don [...]

  13. Really informative blog. Keep writing.

  14. kelstar71 says:

    Thank you, Connor! We appreciate you coming by. Our signature campaign, 28 Days Later, kicks off February 1. Please visit then too.

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