THE UN-WEDDING by Babette Cole


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 12
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Demetrius and Paula Ogglebutt have a problem—their parents. Their mother and father can’t agree about anything and their stand-off is approaching all out war. Mr. Ogglebutt puts cement in Mrs. Ogglebutt’s bath salts; she puts fireworks in his sausage and mashed potatoes. He puts wigglers in her mudpack; she puts a cow pie in his cap. The uglier their feelings for each other, the uglier they look. Demetrius and Paula are miserable until they come up with a wonderful plan—they ask the minister to un- marry their parents. “What a clever idea,” he says, and their parents wonder why they didn’t think of it themselves. A lovely un-wedding ensues, with the beaming un-couple and guests all in black. While the two honeymoon separately, the children demolish the baronial estate and build two houses, one for each parent, connected by a secret tunnel that only children can crawl through. They order two of everything they want and everyone lives “happily ever after—apart.” Cole (Drop Dead, 1997, etc.) proves again that humor is the best medicine; this tongue-in-cheek take on divorce won’t prevent children from suffering on their own warring home fronts, but casts the process of separating in a light that may cheer them. Loosely drawn line-and-watercolor illustrations portray the bickering couple in hilarious detail, made all the funnier by the posh British backdrop that is their battleground. (Picture book. 6-12)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-679-88898-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1998


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