Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wedded Bliss

Well, it's been quite the week! Not only did The Cath in the Hat reach its first blogiversity on September 6th, but its writer, yours truly, tied the knot this past Sunday. An avid pug lover, our wedding invitations featured two brachycephalic-challenged canines dressed as bride and groom. There's no shortage of animals standing in for humans in children's literature, so I wondered what sort of creatures took vows in picture books. Here's what I discovered.

Two alligators celebrate their reptilian nuptials in a swamp in Nancy Jewell's Alligator Wedding, with illustrations by J. Rutland (2010). The betrothed and their guests chow down on Creole crab cakes and gator gumbo stew (which sounds a bite cannibalistic). Then they dance to the Big Beast Boogie, the Reptile Romp, and the Gumbo Gator Gallop before the newlyweds take off on their honeymoon barge to disastrous results.

Luckily we didn't have this problem at our do--stinky guests! But Curlytail and Porker have invited porcine friends who smell a bit ripe. Their solution? To hose everyone down and then dress them up by painting on their wedding finery. After a splendid ceremony and reception, a sudden downpour leads to more creative solutions. Written and illustrated by the wonderful Helme Heine (1991).

Angelina is in mouse heaven. She has been asked to be a bridesmaid at the royal wedding of Princess Eliza to Crown Prince Ratofsky. After much preparation, she sets off to the palace. Minutes before the ceremony, Angelina and a fellow bridesmaid accidentally become lost in a remote tower in the palace gardens. Readers of this long-time series, written by Katharine Holabird and illustrated by Helen Craig, will be on pins and needles, wondering if the mice make it to the wedding on time.

Eve Bunting's The Wedding is a sweet tale about a Brindle Cow who good-naturely agrees to carry an assortment of frazzled animals to a wedding they are all late for. A pig is the organist, a turtle, the florist, and a duck the pastor. More and more creatures pile on the bovine's broad back, and the cow accepts them all. When the group reach the church doors, there's a wonderful surprise in store. Illustrations by Iza Trapani (2003).

I couldn't resist adding The Rabbits' Wedding by Garth Williams. Published in 1958, the picture book caused quite a stir back in the day. What controversy could there be about two dear creatures who wish to be together "forever and always"? The answer lies in Williams' lovely illustrations showing a black rabbit groom and a white rabbit bride. That's right, folks, segregation reared its ugly head and the uproar even caused the book to be removed from library shelves in Alabama.

Of all the books mentioned today, this one best expressed my feelings about two people, alligators, pigs, mice, rabbits, what-have-yous, pledging their love.

"What are you always thinking about?"
asked the little white rabbit.
"I'm just thinking about my wish," replied the little black rabbit.
"What is your wish?" asked the little white rabbit.
"I just wish that I could be with you forever and always,"
replied the little black rabbit.
The little white rabbit opened her eyes very wide
and thought very hard.
"Why don't you wish a little harder?"
asked the little white rabbit.

This weekend our wish was granted.


  1. Congratulations! May your years ahead be filled with ecstatic pug-loving and spouse-loving bliss.

  2. "Why don't you wish a little harder"? asked the little white rabbit.

    Perfect. I love it.

  3. Congratulations!!!!!

    May you enjoy many, many, many years of wedded bliss. I'm so happy for you.

  4. Congratulations! Thanks for the grouping of picture books about weddings, too!