Written by Sally Lloyd-Jones, Illustrated by Sue Heap
Random House, 2009
When you want to get married, first you have to find someone you can marry.
The plot in a nutshell: A precocious six year old explains everything you need to know about getting married.
When kids start really thinking about it, marriage is a world of mystery. How do you know who you’re supposed to marry? What do you have to do to get married? What does it mean to be married? This book gives us a full rundown from the point of view of our six year old narrator, who has some pretty funny ideas about the whole thing. You get the idea, reading it, that this little girl has recently been to a wedding and is making assumptions about everything she saw and filling in the blanks with her own theories.
She points out that you can marry anyone you want, from your best friend to your pet to a flower, and you can’t marry lots of people at once, except sometimes you can. She stresses the importance of being a nice person, if you want someone to like you enough to want to marry you. There’s a nice bit about considering your future with your new spouse. For example, if you marry a teacher, they might give you homework all the time. She suggests things to wear and places to get married, including your playroom.
I thought this book was really cute. Author Sally Lloyd-Jones has written a few of these ‘how to’ books in a similar style (and from the same narrator character), including How to Be a Baby…by Me, the Big Sister and How to Get a Job…by Me, the Boss and I will be looking them up. Illustrator Sue Heap’s artwork is done in acrylic paint and crayons, which definitely blend well with this book’s point of view. I love that the book is full of childhood silliness, but punctuated with valuable messages. Her advice about never marrying any in the dark because you won’t be able to see who you’re really marrying is true both literally and metaphorically.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that however you go about it, the key to a good marriage lies in her first important point – marry someone you like who likes you back. (And never marry someone who eats bugs.)
And it’s no coincidence that I’m posting this today…so a HUGE shout-out to the Supreme Court, who clearly agrees with our narrator, having just declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. True love conquers all.