The Wedding Portrait (Innosanto Nagara)

Hello, friends! Our book today is The Wedding Portrait by Innosanto Nagara, a lesson in civil disobedience drawn from a personal moment in the author’s life.

In a home, there is a wedding portrait… well, not quite. It is actually a photograph clipped from a newspaper, but it does show the author and his wife on their wedding day. The story of the portrait begins by explaining an important fact: while there are lots of good rules, some rules (or laws) are wrong. And oftentimes, it is up to people to challenge them through protests, blockades, boycotts, sit-ins. They often face obstacles, but change can come from the voice of ordinary people – like two people who chose to use their wedding day to do what they felt was right…

This was a very cool book. It’s an extremely personal story to the author; centering around his real life wedding portrait, he is addressing his child through the narration. This serves as a good jumping-off point for the main focus of the story, which is a brief history of civil disobedience: how it’s done, why it matters, and examples of it from history. These two factors blend together well, and Nagara does a wonderful job of distilling the stories and concepts down for young readers. The tone strikes a great balance between instructional and inspiring, encouraging little bookworms to have the courage to stand against injustice and explaining how to peacefully do so. The mixed-media illustration carries the tone well, using rich hues and bold visuals to connect. My only complaint is the text, which can sometimes be a little rambling and had a tendency to circle back on itself. It firmly made this a book for older bookworms – JJ was pretty much done about halfway through. Still, it’s a great primer to teach children about the power of protest, and we enjoyed it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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