May 27 – It’s Family Reunion Month

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About the Holiday

With summer approaching and the kids out of school, it’s the perfect time to plan a family reunion. For adults in the family it’s a great way to catch up with aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grandparents, parents… (did I leave anyone out?). For little ones, a reunion can be a wonderful opportunity to be introduced to the rest of the family. They’ll have a blast, as Sarah and Ian discover in today’s book which revolves around a wedding—another popular event for family reunions! To honor this month’s holiday, why not pick up the phone and start the ball rolling?

Sarah at the Wedding

By Pauline Oud

 

Today is a very special day for Sarah and Ian. They’re going to a party. Not just any party, though—a wedding! Aunt Olivia is marrying William. Sarah is going to be the flower girl and has a new fancy, pink dress. Ian is the ring bearer and is wearing a handsome suit.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-sarah-at-the-wedding-getting-dressed

Copyright Pauline Oud, courtesy of Clavis Books

As Aunt Olivia, in her white lacy dress, and William, wearing a gray top hat, walk down the aisle, Sarah and Ian hold the veil and remember everything they have practiced. They remind each other of the things they’ve been told. “‘Don’t pull on the veil,’ Sarah says softly. ‘No, and don’t stick out your tongue or wave at the people,’ Ian whispers.” After Olivia and William promise to love each other and affirm that they want to be married, it’s time for the rings!

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-sarah-at-the-wedding-down-the-aisle

Copyright Pauline Oud, courtesy of Clavis Books

“The rings are in the pocket of Dad’s jacket. Or are they?” Frantically, Dad searches through all of his pockets. Where can they be? At last, Dad finds them in his pants pocket. Sarah and Ian smile. Dad lays them on the little red pillow Ian and Sarah are carrying, and they walk carefully to Olivia and William. When William and Olivia put the rings on each other’s fingers, they are pronounced husband and wife. Sarah and Ian giggle when they kiss. Mom and Dad and Grandpa call out ‘Hooray!’ Grandma has tears in her eyes.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-sarah-at-the-wedding-ring

Copyright Pauline Oud, courtesy of Clavis Books

Olivia and William walk outside on a long red carpet. Everyone cheers and applauds as they pass by while Ian and Sarah toss little flowers into the air. Now it’s time for photos. Sarah and Ian stand next to William and Olivia. They have to smile for a long time. Finally, the photographer is finished and “they go to the big party tent in the garden.”

There, Sarah spies the most beautiful cake she has ever seen. On top stand two dolls that “look exactly like William and Aunt Olivia!” Together. Aunt Olivia and William hold the knife as they cut the cake. “‘You don’t like cake, do you?’” William teases Ian and Sarah. “‘Yes, I do!’” they answer together. After cake and lemonade, Sarah and Ian are full.

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-sarah-at-the-wedding-ceremony

Copyright Pauline Oud, courtesy of Clavis Books

Then Grandpa gives them bottles of bubbles! “While the other people talk and laugh in the garden, Ian and Sarah blow the biggest bubbles. Soon lots of beautiful bubbles are flying through the sky.” There’s even “an arts and crafts table in the party tent.” Sarah makes a veil just like Olivia’s while Ian makes a top hat like William’s to wear.

After they are done, Sarah and Ian pretend to get married with two paper rings. The party goes on into the night. Ian and Sarah eat French fries and ice cream. “When it gets dark, the little lamps in the party tent go on. Pretty!” People are dancing to music, and Ian and Sarah join in. “This wedding is so much fun!”

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-sarah-at-the-wedding-dancing

Copyright Pauline Oud, courtesy of Clavis Books

Instructions on how to make a veil with paper and lace or cloth as well as how to make a top hat follow the text. The story leads off with six questions, which can be used as a scavenger hunt of sorts while reading or as a fun memory game afterward.

Pauline Oud’s sweet and perfectly paced wedding story will engage little one’s imaginations whether they are chosen to participate in a wedding or are just curious about this milestone event. Adorably aware of and diligent in performing their responsibilities, Sarah and Ian are integral participants in their aunt’s important day. Readers will giggle at the bit of suspense, sprinkled with humor, when Dad can’t find the wedding rings. The portrayal of an interracial couple as well as Oud’s fabulous ideas for entertaining children at a wedding, make Sarah at the Wedding, a warm, inclusive book that will make young—and older—hearts sing.

Sarah at the Wedding would be an endearing addition to home bookshelves for children who love to play dress-up and pretend as well as for those participating in a wedding or other family event.

Ages 3 and up

Clavis Books, 2017 | ISBN 978-1605373317

Discover more about Pauline Oud, her books, and her work for the Dutch version of Sesame Street on her website!

Family Reunion Month Activity

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Hangin’ with Family! Magnets and Picture Hanger

 

What’s a family reunion—or any event—without photos to share afterward? Here’s an easy craft that you can make for yourself or to give to your family or friends whether they live close by or far away. These magnets can used by themselves or to hold a picture-hanging wire. Use maps, inside jokes, favorite characters, or shared experiences to make these crafts personal!

For Magnets and Picture Hanger

Supplies

  • Use a mapping program to find a map of your town and your friend’s town
  • Poster board
  • Large, 1 ½-inch clear glass stones (decorative fillers), available in craft stores
  • Markers or colored pencils if drawing your own designs
  • Twine
  • Super Glue
  • Toothpicks
  • Scissors
  • Heavy duty mounting squares

Directions for Picture Hanger

  1. Find maps of your and your friend’s towns
  2. Alternately, draw your own design on the poster board, and follow the directions from number 7 below
  3. Zoom in so the name of your and your friend’s towns are displayed well. You will be using about a 1-inch area around the towns’ names.
  4. Take a screen shot of the maps
  5. Print the maps
  6. Place the glass stone on the map and trace around it
  7. Place the glass stone on the poster board and trace around it
  8. Cut out the circles on the map and poster board
  9. With the toothpick, glue the map to the poster board, let dry
  10. With the toothpick, apply glue around the very edge of the map side of the circle
  11. Attach the circle to the flat side of the glass stone, let dry
  12. Trim the cardboard circle if needed
  13. Repeat with the other map
  14. Attach a length of twine to the back of each glass stone
  15. Attach heavy duty mounting squares to the back of each glass stone
  16. Attach stones to the wall and hang pictures on the twine

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Directions for Magnets

  1. Place the glass stone on the poster board and trace around it
  2. Place the glass stone on the map with the town in the center and trace around it
  3. Alternately, draw your own design on the poster board, and follow the directions from number 6 below
  4. Cut out the circles on the poster board and maps
  5. Glue the map to the poster board
  6. With the toothpick, apply glue around the very edge of the map side of the circle
  7. Attach the circle to the flat side of the stone, let dry
  8. Trim the cardboard circle if needed
  9. Attach the magnet to the back of the cardboard with glue

Picture Book Review

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