Book Reviews

Willow and the Wedding by Denise Brennan-Nelson at Sleeping Bear Press

Genre Mixed Orientations / Contemporary / Children / Fiction
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 15-May-2017

Book Blurb

Willow is back! This time she's so excited to be flower girl for her favorite uncle and his boyfriend's wedding. Willow just can't wait to help make it perfect. The beach ceremony! The dinner! The dessert! The dancing! But there's just one hiccup. Uncle Ash refuses to dance these days. A wedding with no dancing?! Willow makes it her mission to remind him of the joy he found in dancing years ago. On the evening of the wedding, Uncle Ash surprises them all and everyone dances in just the ways they were meant to.

Book Review

There are some great children’s books with a GLBTQ component out there, and ‘Willow and the Wedding’ is definitely one of them. Aimed at ages 5-8 and colorfully illustrated, it is the story of a little girl on a mission to make her uncle’s wedding with his boyfriend absolutely perfect.

A great deal of thought has gone into this book. There is Willow’s perception of the world which is at times super simple – perfectly in line with what a child her age would want, such as donuts for dessert, never mind any adult traditions. Her uncle doesn’t want to dance? So she sets out to find out why and – with single-minded determination – begins to fix the problem.

The fact that her uncle is getting married to a man does not even appear on her radar as unusual or strange, and that sends a very subtle yet powerful message about acceptance and inclusivity to anyone – child or adult – who reads this book. Willow worries about her uncle’s loss of enjoying an activity – dancing – that she loves and, if her mother is to be believes, her uncle loved as well when he was younger. There is nothing like a mystery like that to get a curious kid going – and Willow follows her goal with a vengeance.

I’d recommend this picture book for children of any age, the adults who teach and raise them, and anyone looking for a progressive view of the world that shows the way things should be.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Sleeping Bear Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Short Story
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-May-2017
Price $16.99 ebook, $16.99 hardcover
Buy Link