cover image Mountain Wedding: Welcome to the Zaniest Wedding of the Year

Mountain Wedding: Welcome to the Zaniest Wedding of the Year

Faye Gibbons. HarperCollins Publishers, $16 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-688-11348-3

With obvious fondness for the region's past and people, Gibbons (Some Glad Morning) places her winsome story in the north Georgia farmland of her childhood. Mrs. Searcy and Mr. Long are getting married, and their children-seven Longs and five Searcys-are none too happy. ""It was spring in the mountains,"" announces the narrator, one of the Searcy girls. ""Mockingbirds were courting and mating and feuding over nesting places. They weren't the only ones fussing."" As the couple exchanges marriage vows, the kids face each other in ""two scowling lines,"" then two of the boys get in a tussle. Before the ceremony can continue, a swarm of bees agitates the two mules attached to a wagon piled high with both families' belongings. Joined by a common mission, all 12 kids forget their animosity and collect the scattered goods, until ""we were all mixed and mingled into one big dirty group."" Rand (Knots on a Counting Rope) gives equal weight to the humor and the poignancy in this tale with his light-handed watercolors of spirited folk in a homespun setting. Funny yet heartfelt, this is a fine choice for children who are or who are soon to be members of a blended family. Ages 5-up. (Mar.)