A little boy has a big decision to make when asked to be in his cousin’s wedding.
In a story in which all key characters are depicted as people of color with brown skin and varied hair textures, Jameson is a brown boy who loves his green pants. He wears them daily and resists others’ attempts to get him to wear pants of different colors. Softly textured watercolor-and-pencil illustrations inject humor into his resistance by showing Jameson throwing pants of various hues out the window, depicting a dog with red pants on its hind legs, and showing a pair of blue pants flying atop a flag pole. But Jameson’s devotion to his green pants (which make him feel that he “could do anything”) creates conflict when his cousin’s fiancee, Jo, whom Jameson adores, asks him to be in their wedding. He agrees but is aghast when his mother explains he must wear a tuxedo with black pants. He agonizes over the decision until the wedding day, when he sees Jo at the church, and his devotion to her overrides his attachment to green pants. It’s a glorious day with a satisfying ending that shows Jameson stripping off his black tuxedo pants to reveal green ones before he tears up the dance floor. Kraegel’s text displays deep respect for both children’s quirks and their right to those quirks, Jameson’s mother over and over reinforcing for him that the decision (be in the wedding with black pants or in the congregation with green ones) is his.
This quirky kid and his loving family will instantly endear themselves to readers. (Picture book. 4-7)