Snapshots from the Wedding

Snapshots from the Wedding

by Gary Soto, Stephanie Garcia
     
 

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"There's nothing like a wedding, and this book about a wedding is not quite like any other....Maya, the flower girl, is the lens through which the action is seen. All of the fun of a wedding is here: the altar boy with the dirty sneakers under his gown, Maya putting pitted black olives on each of her fingers, the kids whacking each other with balloons....The… See more details below

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Overview

"There's nothing like a wedding, and this book about a wedding is not quite like any other....Maya, the flower girl, is the lens through which the action is seen. All of the fun of a wedding is here: the altar boy with the dirty sneakers under his gown, Maya putting pitted black olives on each of her fingers, the kids whacking each other with balloons....The choice of three dimensional artwork was inspired." -- Booklist (starred review)"The text, sprinkled with Spanish words, is eloquent and funny -- and it deftly captures the flavor of a Latino wedding, compete with Mariachi band. Garcia's singular, deliciously creative artwork...Ais? eye-catching." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)"This is an unusually appealing book that will have broad appeal." -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Photographs of shadowboxes filled with sculpted clay figures form the eye-catching art for Soto's "diary" of Maya, a flower girl. The text, sprinkled with Spanish words, is eloquent and funny (a bride's hands are "soft as doves"; a cousin wiggles his tongue "in the space between his baby teeth, white as Chiclets")-and it deftly captures the flavor of a Latino wedding, complete with mariachi band. Garcia's singular, deliciously creative artwork steals the show here, however. More playful than the dioramas she composed for The Old Lady and the Birds, these lifelike, three-dimensional scenes serve as an elaborate stage set. Readers will be enthralled by Garcia's use of details, from the "actors" and "actresses" decked out in wedding finery to the garlanded ribbons festooned across the shadowboxes to the objects that enhance each scene (tiny silk flowers in the bride's bouquet; potato chips on the buffet table). Using Soto's words as a springboard, Garcia tweaks the perspective, offering a legs-and-feet-only view, for instance, of a scene in which Maya describes the younger wedding guests' "shoes off" romp down the hallway (complete with authentically dusty soles of socks). Another "snapshot" shows a pair of sculpted hands holding a plate with a flower-topped slice of wedding cake. A happy marriage of talents. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Janet Morgan Stoeke
If you've ever wanted to tell a kid what it will be like at Aunt So-and-So's wedding, this book will help. Maya is Isabel's flower girl, thrilled to be wearing flowers in her hair, and telling every detail of the day as only a little kid can. "Then everyone claps and some people hug the bride/ A hundred times, it looks like to me." Shadow boxes filled with Sculpy clay figures seem to be portraits of real Mexican-American people, not just generic bride, groom and family. There is a brief glossary for the handful of Spanish words that appear here and there. The mustachioed mariachi band is delightful, all decked out in their finery. Important bits of art seem to have been mistakenly stuck in the gutter, which is too bad, but overall the impression is lush and inviting.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5Soto's picture book provides a glimpse into an American cultural traditiona wedding with a Hispanic flair. Maya, the narrator, is a flower girl. Mariachi musicians provide the music, and for dinner the family and friends eat pollo con mole. There is a glossary for the handful of Spanish terms sprinkled throughout the text. Garcia's illustrations are wonderful. Sculpy clay figures are dressed up and carefully arranged in a wooden shadow box frame, and each page is set on a background of pastel with lace. Quirky tidbits sneak into the text and picturesTo Juan itches in his new shirt, Maya sticks black olives on her fingertipsthese details give the narration the quality of childlike observation. The language at other times is quite sophisticated. Children who have been involved in a family wedding will easily draw comparisons to this story.Sharon R. Pearce, San Antonio Public Library, TX
Kirkus Reviews
From Soto (Off and Running, 1996, etc.), a celebratory, child's-eye look at a wedding that captures the traditional mingling of the surreal and the sublime. A flower girl, Maya, tells in a pitch-perfect accent about the groom, Rafael, who is at the altar with his arm in a cast (he slid into home playing softball and scored, but broke his wrist), and a host of other relatives and strangers. Crying babies, the altar boy's dirty sneakers, an inconvenient sneeze, and the glow in the bride Isabel's eyes are reported with equal fervor. At the reception, Maya puts a pitted olive on each finger, finds mole sauce on her gown, and dances, riding on her father's feet. While the family is Mexican-American, the wedding's touching and silly moments are universal. Garcia's illustrations, photographs of Sculpy clay figures and collage, are pink and white and delicious, reminiscent of both reredos and scenes from a dollhouse.

With all the problem books in the world, it's a delight to encounter one that talks about a happy event and its attendant joys. This is a triumph of true-to-life storytelling, with all the good parts left in.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698117525
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
12/28/1998
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
352,513
Product dimensions:
8.02(w) x 8.79(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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