You are Cordially Invited..
For those of you who love children’s literature as much as I do, I thought I would share my book review column for the May issue of Model Life Magazine. The magazine’s theme for May is Weddings!
You’re Cordially Invited…
I’m excited about the opportunity to share my love of children’s literature here in Model LIfe Magazine! This month, we are focusing on stories about weddings. As most of us, and our children, are familiar with all of the popular Disney books which include weddings, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, etc, I thought I would look at some lesser known books and authors. Children of all ages feel very special and excited about being invited to a wedding. And it’s even more amazing when they are asked to be a part of the wedding!
1. Wedding Flowers, by Cynthia Rylant. Gr. 2-3. Rylant is a wonderful storyteller. This book is part of a series called the Cobble Street Cousins. Three young cousins, Lily, Tess, and Rosie live with their Aunt Lucy on Cobble Street for the summers. In this story, Aunt Lucy is getting married to Michael and all three girls, with their sweet, cooperative enthusiasm, work together to create an unforgettable wedding day. Adorable illustrations. This series was one of my daughters’ favorites!
2. Lilly’s Big Day, by Kevin Henkes. K-Grade 2. Remember Lilly, the mouse from Lilly’s Plastic Purple Purse? Well, she is back again, and this time has her heart set on being the flower girl in her teacher, Mr. Slinger’s upcoming wedding. She practices and dreams of the day, only to find that Mr. Slinger’s niece has been invited to be the flower girl. But Mr. Slinger has plans for Lilly, and in the end she feels very special about her wedding day responsibilities. Funny, spirited, and a wonderful story about dealing with things when they don’t go quite as you had planned.
3. Junie B. Jones is (almost) a Flower Girl, by Barbara Park. Grade 1 and up. Junie B. is a hilarious character who creates chaos wherever she goes. In this story, her Aunt Flo is getting married, and Junie B. finds a way to get the attention she wants after not being asked to be the flower girl. From teaching 2nd graders, I know many children think Junie B. is very funny, and they love all the trouble she gets in. As a parent and teacher, I feel the Junie B. character may not be the role model we are hoping for our children. But that being said, Park does entertain us with her Junie B. Jones series.
4. Miss Spider’s Wedding, by David Kirk. Ages 4 and up. This story will be enjoyed as much by the adult reader as the children. Beautiful and vibrant illustrations tell the story of true love blooming in the insect world amongst the Spring flowers. Some reviewers felt the subject matter somewhat above the 4-5 year old level, although I felt it a perfect way to introduce children to nature’s ways. If you have enjoyed other Miss Spider stories, you will love this one. The last line of the story says it all…”How can we fully recognize the beauty seen through true love’s eyes?”
5. Flower Girl, by Kathy Furgang. PreK-Grade 2. A sweet story with more illustrations than words. Little Anna thinks her aunt’s upcoming wedding will be boring. She would rather ride her bike or go swimming. That is until her grandmother, mother and aunt head to the attic to unpack her mother’s wedding dress and grandmother’s veil. The story explores the anxiety children may feel when asked to participate in a wedding. Soon, Anna gets in the spirit of the celebration. I love how the author wove generational traditions into the story. The lively illustrations are colorful and charming! Well worth the read.
In this upcoming season, many children and their families will be invited to celebrate weddings. Some may be asked to participate as a flower girl or a ring bearer. I think all the stories I have reviewed would create excitement for the children about the wedding, give them an idea of what to expect, and help to alleviate any possible fears. Happy reading! Enjoy!
Nanette is a photographer, writer, and collector and lover of children’s literature. She is the owner of Nanette Faye Photography. You can find more of her work at www.nanettefayephotography.com.
Happy Thursday, Friends!
Lots of love and happy reading!