Donovan’s Big Day (Lesléa Newman)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Donovan’s Big Day, written by Lesléa Newman and illustrated by Mike Dutton, a sweet story of a little boy and his very important day.

Donovan’s day is starting, and because it is a very special day, he has a million things to remember and do. When Grandpa comes to wake him, he must remember not to nestle under the covers and fall back asleep. When breakfast is served, he must try to eat quickly but be tidy, and when he cleans up after he must remember to wash his face and brush his teeth and comb his hair neatly. He must put on this brand new suit and take very special care of the little white satin box his aunt gave him, and then he must wait quietly with all four of his grandparents and his cousin for the music to start. Then he must walk down the aisle, and when the officiant says so, hand the box with his Mommy and Mama’s rings to them and listen to their vows. But at the end of this very big day, he was one more thing to do: give his moms a great big hug and kiss to celebrate their day.

Just wonderful. While Donovan and his moms are indeed a queer family, this is not the focus of the story; instead, this is simply a family story about a little boy’s important job as ring bearer for his parents who happen to be a gay couple. It’s a choice that normalizes queer families and weddings, and shows that they have all the love, support, and joy of any family. It also makes the book a useful tool for any family preparing a little one to be a ring bearer by giving a taste of what may be expected of them on their own big day. The art is warm and sweet, capturing the sense of the bustle, pomp, and tenderness of a wedding day well. The length is fine, and JJ enjoyed it. A lovely story for any family planning a trip down the aisle, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Worm Loves Worm (J.J. Austrian)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Worm Loves Worm, written by J.J. Austrian and illustrated by Mike Curato. This is an unbelievably charming book about two little worms and the love they share.

Worm loves Worm, and vice versa, so they decide to be married. Their insect friends help them organize their wedding, volunteering to be “bridesbees” and a “best beetle,” providing a cake and tuxedo and wedding dress. Worm and Worm are grateful, and make adjustments where necessary (for instance, worms cannot wear wedding rings on their fingers – they don’t have fingers – so they decide to wear them as belts instead). When their friends ask which will be the bride and which will be the groom, Worm and Worm decide to be both. And though their friend Cricket expresses concern that this is not the way weddings have always been done, the worms don’t mind. They would rather do things their own way. After all, all that matters is that Worm loves Worm.

This. Book. I cannot describe how lovely it is. First, the illustrations are just adorable – the little insects, and especially the worms, are too cute for words. It’s a perfect length for baby bookworms, short enough even that JJ wanted to read it twice. The text is sweet and simple and fun to read.

However, the shining center of this book is the story. As the general public is becoming more and more savvy about LGBTQ issues, there have been some wonderful books coming out that explore and explain these concepts to young readers (I Am Jazz is a great one for trans people, for example). This is fantastic, especially because no one is more forced into traditional gender roles than children. However, complex concepts regarding sexuality and gender can be confusing for adults, much less little ones. And THAT is precisely what makes Worm Loves Worm so special. It is a simple book that explains a simple concept: Love is love. We adored this book. Absolutely Baby BookWORM approved!