Thursday, May 5, 2011

Donovan's Big Day - A Two Mom Wedding Picture Book That I Wish Had Been Read To Me When I Was A Little Kid

By Leslea Newman, illustrated by Mike Dutton

Donovan got up, and remembered that it was a Big Day.

He had a lot to do: eat breakfast, get clean, get dressed, and then Donovan was given a very important small box.

At the right moment in the ceremony (an Aunt tells him it's time)...

He opened the box very carefully.
He handed one shiny gold ring to Mommy.
He handed one shiny gold ring to Mama.
He stood next to both of them
without saying a word
while they slid the shiny gold rings
onto each other's fingers,
looked into each other's eyes,
said mushy things to each other,
and smiled and laughed and cried.

Check out the interior illustration of that moment:

This is a beautiful picture book. The text is spare and heartfelt, and the illustrations are luminous and so appealing.

Leslea did something so interesting in creating this "same-sex marriage celebration seen through the eyes of a child" - in that a child having this read to them wouldn't know Donovan has two moms until that moment in the wedding ceremony, four pages from the end. Everything up till then is universal, for any child, for any wedding.

And I love the point that this story makes - our queer love is just the same: something to celebrate!

Leslea Newman keeps breaking new ground and writing important, beautiful books that I love. And I'll keep telling you about them!



Anonymous said...

This is great. I can't wait to read it! Just ordered it for the Charlton Public Library Children's Room (Charlton, MA.) I recently gave 2 of Leslea's books ("Heather has Two Mommies" & "Mommy, Momma and Me") to an elementary school teacher, as well as Patricia Polacco's book "In Our Mother's House", because earlier that day a girl was being teased because she has two mothers. I was so happy I had them in the collection to give to the teacher. Obviously, the school library did not have anything, which is sad. I love working in a public library. And it was so good to know that because I purchased these books for the library, maybe a little girl with two moms feels a bit little better. I hope. Thanks for posting, Lee.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Molly, that's a great reminder of the power of books... and librarians!
thanks for all you do,