NAGARA, Innosanto. The Wedding Portrait. illus. by Innosanto Nagara. 36p. Triangle Square. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781609808020.
Gr 3-5–An introduction to social justice through a framing device in which Nagara tells his grandson about a photograph from his wedding, where he and his wife were arrested for protesting nuclear bombs. Nagara’s story grows in scope to encompass different forms of protest, from the civil rights movement to Black Lives Matter, and expands beyond the United States to include stories of social activism from other countries, including India and Colombia. Warm, bright illustrations provide the text with a sense of urgency, and the individuals portrayed in the images complement the diverse scope of Nagara’s journey. The book veers away from didacticism by grounding its descriptions of various forms of protest with human touches (notably, the central story of Nagara and his wife’s arrest). The book also emphasizes the difference between simple “disobedience” (i.e., refusing to do your chores) and “civil disobedience.” By concluding the work with a description of his arrest, Nagara taps into some of the challenges and risks associated with protest. The book ends on a note stressing the importance of community and collaboration and learning from each other. VERDICT An intriguing and timely purchase for young readers that provides a valuable introduction to social activism and protest.