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Mom and Mum Are Getting Married

by Ken Setterington

Same-sex marriage is the most topical of topics these days, and this friendly picture book by well-known Toronto children’s author and librarian Ken Setterington makes a pleasant contribution to the growing number of books for children in which gay relationships are celebrated.

Thrilled at the happiness of her two mothers when they announce their wedding plans, the young narrator in this story hopes the wedding will require her services as a flower girl. In fact, it seems that everyone related to Mom and Mum is hoping for an elaborate wedding, with all of the traditional accoutrements, even though the central characters are somewhat non-traditional. Despite their sensible resistance to these well-meant pressures, however, Mom and Mum decide that their children can be ring-bearers, and the narrator proves herself equal to the task of bearing rings, scattering petals, and shepherding her little brother into giving appropriate attention to the rings. The story is slight but serves to cover the subtext of a loving relationship between the narrator’s two mothers, and complete acceptance by the family and friends who participate in the wedding. All this warmth and acceptance borders on the saccharine; a bit of conflict would have made the story more interesting as well as more credible.

Alice Priestley’s illustrations are reminiscent of the work of Ann Blades. In warm but serene colours, they focus on the happy expressions and exuberant gestures of the figures involved in this contemporary wedding.