Julián at the Wedding
Author & Illustrator: Jessica Love
Published October 6th, 2020 by Candlewick Press
Summary: The star of Julián Is a Mermaid makes a joyful return–and finds a new friend–at a wedding to be remembered.
Julián and his abuela are attending a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding along with his cousin Marisol. When wedding duties are fulfilled and with a new dog friend in tow, the pair takes off to roam the venue, exploring everywhere from underneath tables to enchanting willow trees to . . . muddy puddles? After all, it wouldn’t be a wedding without fun, laughter, and a little magical mischief. With ingenuity and heart, author-illustrator Jessica Love tells a charming story of friendship, acceptance, and celebration.
About the Author: Jessica Love is an actor and the author-illustrator of Julián Is a Mermaid. She has a BA in studio art from the University of California, Santa Cruz, as well as a graduate degree from Juilliard. She has appeared in plays both on and off Broadway. Jessica Love lives in Brooklyn.
“Arrtwork on brown paper allows warm, clear views of the characters, who appear to be Black and Afro-Latinx. The specificity of Love’s characterizations—the way the abuelas kick off their high heels, the brides’ enthusiasm, the children’s expansive gender expressions—offers vibrancy and immediacy, and under their community’s watchful eyes, Julián and Marisol find affection, acceptance, and room to grow.” -Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“A celebration of weddings and a subtle yet poignant reminder that gender, like love, is expansive. Lovely.” -Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Once again Love has brought us young characters who are free to live, play, and express themselves however they wish without conflict. An abundance of joy and love.” -The Horn Book, Starred Review
Review: Jessica Love has brought such a special character to light in Julián. His story is a story of love, being yourself, having fun, happiness, and light. In Julián’s new story, we find him at a wedding where, like most kids, he and Marisol would rather go play than hang around with the adults. Only a small amount of text is needed because the joy of playing together radiates through the illustrations and is a feeling that every person has felt at one time or another while they play with no inhibitions when they probably should be somewhere else. Trent and I read this book together and when we were done, he said, “I want to play with them!” and that summarizes the feeling of this book.
Activity Kit from the Publisher:
A Conversation with the Author:
Read This If You Love: Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff
**Thank you to Candlewick Press for providing a copy for review!**