Mom and Mum are Getting Married! — Perfect Picture Book Friday

February 28, 2013

9781896764849_p0_v1_s260x420As 2013’s Freedom to Read Week in Canada draws to a close, I want to include a book that speaks gently to an issue that is contentious for some. I believe it is of vital importance to show children that families come in all varieties, and that this is something to rejoice in and celebrate, as this book does.

Title: Mom and Mum are Getting Married

Author: Ken Setterington

Illustrator: Alice Priestley

Publisher: Toronto: Second Story Press, 2004

Genre: Picture book, fiction

Audience Age: 5 to 9 years

Themes/topics: weddings, flower girls, family celebrations, same-sex marriage, dealing with disappointment creatively

Opening Sentences: You should have seen her. Mom was dancing around the living room. In the afternoon. On a school day! Nobody else was with her. There wasn’t any music. But she wore the biggest smile I ever saw.

Synopsis: Rosie’s two mothers, Mom and Mum, are getting married. They have been living as a family for as long as Rosie can remember, apparently, and at first she wants things to stay the way they are, until she remembers one of her friends was a flower girl when the friend’s dad got married. This, however, will be a small wedding, no flower girl. Rosie finds a way, finally, to be a special part of the wedding party, and saves the day in her own unique way.

This book focuses on Rosie and her wish to be a flower girl, and simply accepts the fact that two women are getting married without question. I appreciate this, as it shows children that this is just another normal kind of family and marriage. It may raise questions for children, though, and parents, caregivers, teachers, librarians need to be ready to answer children’s questions without moralizing.

Activities/Resources: There are resources for all school age groups at Safe Schools Coalition.   Rainbow Rumpus is an online magazine for kids with LGBTQ parents.   The LGBTQ Parenting Connection provides many resources, as well.

For a video interview with the author talking about the book in the context of Freedom to Read Week, click here.

Availability: Readily available in hardcover.


Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”


9 People reacted on this

  1. I remember when I posted my Bad Kitty Christmas book review on Amazon, I saw some people posting angry reviews because of 4 words “… and her Partner Pam”. I didn’t even notice it at first when I read the book. I think it’s good to show that families are not all the same.

  2. Really nice selection Beth. I like that the focus is on Rosie and wanting to be part of a wedding. There are so many more stories like this being told and I’m happy about that. Our church is half straight and half gay. So there are lots of two mommies and daddies and so many children.

    I’ve also been impressed with the Canadian Art Council’s sponsorship of books that are not mainstream. There are two publishers I love in Canada that interact with their authors on many of their books. I feel like I know a little more about what is possible in Canada in support for the arts than I do in the USA.

  3. This looks like a cute book! I don’t get the ruckus about Moms or Mums or Dads or whatever. Whoever is in my house is family. And whoever gives me love and treats is somebody special! Rosie sounds pretty special and I hope she gets to be a flower girl!

  4. Wonderful choice! We need more books that teach children at an early age that there are many different types of people and lifestyles in the world, and that diversity is something that should be a part of every day life, not something to be feared. Thanks, Beth, for highlighting what sounds like a delightful book!

  5. I thought the same thing as Kirsten, it’s a very timely review for those of us in the US at the moment. I have read this one and really enjoy the focus on the little girl’s very natural desire to play an important role in her parents’ wedding. I am sorry this books gets challenged as I think it is a valuable resource to help chidlren embrace diversity.

  6. Thanks for sharing this one, Beth. I’m glad to see a growing number of titles that represent diverse families. It’s not easy to find books that picture same-sex couples, or biracial couples for that matter. What I’d really love to see in addition to more books like this one are more of are books that are really character and plot driven, telling a story without being overly “about” a particular issue. Sort of like how The Snowy Day featured the first African-American main character in a full color picture book, yet it is really about the universal themes of wonder and play, so any kid can imagine himself or his best friend as Peter. That’s how kids become accepting of differences, I think—to focus on what’s similar and universal, despite the differences, and kids will see what they have in common with others whose families are like or unlike theirs. I believe that’s a main component for building empathy and compassion. I’m glad you’re always so cognizant of sharing these titles, Beth. This is what is needed among book reviewers. Keep it up!

  7. Great book, Beth! I’m going to look for it and read it to my class. I haven’t had any children with gay parents in my class, but I know other teachers in my school have. Oh wait! Now that I’ve said that, I just realized that I did last year. If’s cool how it’s such a non-issue now. This looks like a lovely text to use. Thank you!

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