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Uncle Bobby's Wedding Hardcover – March 27, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 530L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (March 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399247122
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399247125
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When her favorite uncle, Bobby, announces that he is getting married to his boyfriend, Jamie, Chloe worries that he won’t have time for her anymore. The characters are all guinea pigs in human dress, and the sweet, double-page spreads in watercolor and graphite show the idyllic bond between the child and her uncle, as they walk together in the woods, row on the river, and more. In contrast are the scenes of her sadness and jealousy until she learns to have fun with both Bobby and Jamie together—even as they talk about their plans to raise their own kids. The climax is the joyful, exciting wedding—the couple in tuxedos, Chloe as the flower girl, and the big, extended family all together, smiling and teary. A celebration of same-sex marriage, this is about family happiness. Pair with Justin Richardson’s And Tango Makes Three (2005). Preschool-Grade 2. --Hazel Rochman

Review

"...story and pictures are gentle and serene rather than controversial." -- Jane Langton, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Fledgling

"I love it. It's a beautiful book that needs no explaining." -- Jacqueline Woodson, Newbery Honor-winning author of Show Way

"This is SUCH a lovely, charming book. It's about time." -- Tomie de Paola, Newbery Honor-winning author of 26 Fairmont Avenue

"Valiant, valid, validating, valuable." -- Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked

"...Sarah Brannen's beautiful and moving tale has arrived just in time for the young, twenty-first century reader." -- Robert Sabuda, bestselling pop-up artist

The watercolor-and-graphite illustrations are sweet and tender. -- School Library Journal

More About the Author

Sarah S. Brannen wrote and illustrated Uncle Bobby's Wedding (G.P. Putnam's Sons), and illustrated The Very Beary Tooth Fairy (Scholastic Press), The Ugly Duckling (Sterling), The Pig Scramble, Digging for Troy, and The ABC Book of American Homes. Forthcoming books include Feathers: Not Just For Flying (Charlesbridge), Madame Martine (Whitman), At Home in Her Tomb (Charlesbridge) and The PIed Piper of Hamelin (Sterling).

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
The main characters of this book are Bobby, Chloe, and Jamie, who are guinea pigs.
Tara A. Green
A unique book that moves smoothly past the idea of Uncle Bobby and Jamie's wedding, and focuses instead on Chloe's feelings about her uncle getting married.
Steven
The illustrations are wonderful--detailed yet simple, soft yet exciting, absolutely charming and warm and full of life.
M. Ward

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Dana Rudolph on May 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Uncle Bobby's Wedding is more than just a good LGBT-inclusive children's book; it is a good children's book, period. It tells the sweet story of Chloe, an anthropomorphic young guinea pig who worries that Uncle Bobby won't keep having fun with her after he marries his boyfriend Jamie. Uncle Bobby explains that their special times together will not end; Chloe will not be losing an uncle, but gaining one. The book ends at the wedding, with Chloe as the enthusiastic flower girl.

Written from Chloe's perspective, Uncle Bobby deftly expresses a young child's concerns about family relationships and change. It stresses the power of love to encompass both old and new. Brannen's rich watercolor drawings match the tranquil but sometimes playful tone of the text.

The book's great strength is that Jamie's gender is a non-issue throughout. Unlike many older LGBT-themed children's books, such as Heather Has Two Mommies, it doesn't focus on a child struggling against negative views of her family. That approach has value for some, but Uncle Bobby indicates it is now possible to present a same-sex relationship without the need to defend it or compare it, however favorably, with a heterosexual norm. (Even the excellent And Tango Makes Three contrasts the same-sex penguin pair with the usual opposite-sex couples.) This leaves Brannen free to concentrate on her other themes, and opens up the book to a wider audience.

The book will likely be criticized by some for "promoting" same-sex marriage, but in reality it is as sweet and inoffensive a children's book as one could ever hope to find. It shows two men (well, male guinea pigs) getting married, but never preaches. Highly recommended.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Bennett on October 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'm more alarmed that it's about guinea pigs running loose in the woods and gallivanting about at night. An owl could get them! Very un-guinea-pig-like behavior! As far as the same-sex thing goes, yeah, guinea pigs do that!

It's a nice book that gives kids a chance to discuss same-sex relationships at home before they go to school and encounter classmates who have a different assortment of parents than they do. Whether one is for or against same-sex relationships, they are a fact of life. Kids will be more comfortable knowing they exist rather than being surprised by their new friends' two moms or dads. And of course, the child who has two moms or dads will be happy to find a book that relates to his or her life.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By planetsong on April 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a book to wonder at, in all the best ways. The story is straightforward, about a little girl guinea pig (Chloe) and her worries that she will lose her Uncle Bobby's affection when he gets married. Uncle Bobby reassures her that she need not worry about this, and when Chloe meets Uncle Bobby's partner, Jamie, she realizes that she's not losing an uncle, she's gaining one! One of the rapturous things about this story is the way the marriage is presented, as the loving event that it is, such a natural thing (for Uncle Bobby) that the fact that it is between guinea pigs of the same sex doesn't even need a discussion.

The illustrations are a delight. Sarah Brannen is an accomplished artist, and I pored over the pictures, noticing the subtle ways that young guinea pigs are drawn differently from the more sedate adult guinea pigs. You really enter Chloe's world and see the wonder of things from her perspective. This is a book to treasure!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Ward on April 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a brilliantly-executed heartwarming story, a new classic. The story is told from Chloe's point of view, and we understand her priorities and why she feels the way she does. Probably all of us know (or were) a little girl like Chloe. She loves spending time with her special uncle and worries that she will "lose" him when he gets married. Then she has a such a great time with Uncle Bobby and Jamie--boating, going to the ballet, playing board games, toasting marshmallows in the fireplace--that she tells them she wishes they were *both* her uncles. They tell her she will get her wish when they get married.

Oh yeah, Uncle Bobby is gay. That this is a "by the way" part of the story is one example of how well-crafted this book is. Another example is how all family and friends are delighted about the marriage and welcoming to Jamie--well, isn't that what happens when people get married? Chloe's mother says it best: "When two grown-ups love each other that much, they want to get married." Simply, that's just the way it is.

The illustrations are wonderful--detailed yet simple, soft yet exciting, absolutely charming and warm and full of life. And the wedding reception at the end looks like such a GREAT party that I wish I could join in! Sarah S. Brannen's illustrations are terrific and her writing delightful--she really lets us into Chloe's world. I can't wait to see what Ms. Brannen brings us next!
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Oleanna on March 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Even though the rest of her guinea pig family and friends are delighted at the news, little Chloe's gradual adjustment to the idea of her favorite uncle getting married takes time. After all, he already has HER.

Chloe has so much trouble thinking about relinquishing Uncle Bobby's attention to his partner Jamie, she's nearly as obnoxious as Mini Mia in Mini Mia and Her Darling Uncle. She's a marvel of self-centeredness, yet her uncle is as patient and sweet as Mia's Uncle Tommy. (oh, for such indulgent, loving uncles of our own.)

As they talk about her concern and continue to be close and do interesting things together, Chloe finds she is still included in Uncle Bobby's life and will be welcome in his new family as well. She even gets to be flower girl and choose carrot cake for the wedding. Having two uncles turns out to be a fine idea, and Chloe not only thinks Uncle Bobby's wedding was the best ever, she brags that she "planned it all from the beginning."

This engaging story with easy language and appealing Illustrations of cuddly characters is satisfying to share with children around three years old.

The row boat and sail boat outings should show life jackets being worn, but otherwise, this book is terrific.
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