Julián at the Wedding

Book review by
Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media
Julián at the Wedding Book Poster Image
Julián and friend find fun, magic in sweet, affirming tale.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows a bit of what a wedding celebration is like, including the role of a flower girll, and shows two women getting married. 

Positive Messages

Making a new friend is as simple as asking someone to play. Your imagination can take you to wonderful places. Love and gender don't have limits. Kids thrive when their adults respect and support their authentic selves.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Julián, a gender expansive boy, attends a wedding of two brides (shown kissing one time) dressed in a lavender suit and magenta shoes. Marisol is a rough-and-tumble flower girl. They follow their imaginations, experience magic, and problem-solve. Their abuelas are affectionate and affirming. Main characters appear to be Afro-Latinx; background characters reflect New York City's racial and ethnic diversity. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jessica Love's Julián at the Wedding features the star of Julián Is a Mermaid as well as a new friend, Marisol. These gender expansive fast friends escape a wedding party in New York with the brides' dog to a nearby willow tree/fairy house, where imaginative play and muddy paws make for great fun and possible trouble. Not to worry, as the adults aren't mad, and encourage the two to go dance. The abuela's acceptance of the kids' whole selves, as well as their presence at the wedding of two brides, emphasizes the central message that love and gender don't have limits. Main characters appear to be Afro-Latinx; background characters reflect New York City's racial and ethnic diversity.

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What's the story?

In JULIÁN AT THE WEDDING, star Julián, decked out in a lavender suit with a peplum jacket and magenta shoes, arrives with his abuela to a wedding of two brides. He walks the brides' dog, Gloria down the aisle next to Marisol, who tosses flower petals as she goes. After the brides kiss, the party starts. Marisol gives her flower crown to Julián, who is delighted with the gift, and the new friends run to play in a fairy house (a willow tree). After Marisol gets dirty playing with Gloria, Julián shares his shirt, and they come clean with the abuelas. The children are welcomed back to the party with big hugs from the brides, and as the sun sets, Julián and Marisol fall asleep together under a tree.

Is it any good?

This delightful and visually appealing book celebrates acceptance and love. Without being preachy or too on-the-nose about its theme, Julián at the Wedding, like its predecessor, uses sparse text that allows the art to tell the story and show the expansiveness of love and gender. Muted pastels and bright accent colors to come to life on brown paper. Details like a small Statue of Liberty in the background on several pages, the kids' magical winged moment under the willow tree, and the abuelas who are barefoot for the latter half of the story add texture and personality. Young readers will relate to the kids' imaginative, playful spirits, Marisol's mild fear of "coming clean" about her dirty dress, and the relief she feels when her abuela nestles her baseball cap on her head and compliments her "wings." Big hugs from the brides, late-night dancing, and a loving community of friends add to the excitement readers will feel. This affirming book, beautiful in every way, deserves a spot on every kid's bookshelf.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the messages in Julián at the Wedding. What does this story have to say about friendship? What about love? What about imagination or problem solving?

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  • What details in the pictures grab your attention? How would you describe the colors? What effect do they have on your experience of the story?

  • Have you ever been to a wedding or some other special/fancy event? How was your experience similar to or different from Julián and Marisol's? Did you make any new friends there?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and LGBTQ+ stories

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