Julián Is a Mermaid
by Jessica Love and Jessica Love


Overview - Winner of a 2019 Stonewall Book Award

In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.

While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Juli n notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Juli n gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Juli n sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love's author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

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More About Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love; Jessica Love
 
 
 
Overview
Winner of a 2019 Stonewall Book Award

In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.

While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Juli n notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Juli n gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Juli n sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love's author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780763690458
  • ISBN-10: 0763690457
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
  • Publish Date: April 2018
  • Page Count: 40
  • Reading Level: Ages 4-8
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 10.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > LGBT
Books > Juvenile Fiction > People & Places - United States - Hispanic & Latino
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Holidays & Celebrations - Other, Non-Religious

 
BookPage Reviews

Swim against the current

BookPage Children's Top Pick, June 2018

A boy named Julián and his abuela hop on the subway, where he sees three glamorous women dressed as mermaids. Julián is transfixed; he loves mermaids. In the three spreads that follow, we are swept up in Julián’s reverie: We see the subway car become an ocean and fill with colorful sea creatures. They sweep Julián along until he’s a mermaid himself.

Once home, the inspired Julián makes his own mermaid costume. The curtains become his dress, a fern becomes his hair and lipstick is applied. When Abuela enters the room, she takes it all in wordlessly, and Julián’s triumphant stance becomes one of a defeated boy, sure he’ll be shamed. Instead, Abuela brings Julián a string of pearls and takes him to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, ushering him without judgment into a world of people like him. Julián parades exuberantly with his fellow mermaids, knowing that Abuela, always by his side, recognizes and accepts him for who he is.

Jessica Love’s vivid watercolor and gouache illustrations are made even brighter by her decision to paint on brown paper; the richly colored palette pops off the pages, and abundant character is conveyed via the subtlest of facial expressions and body language. Also subtle—and terrifically poignant—is the eloquent encouragement of Abuela’s spare words. A book for the ages, Julián Is a Mermaid is going to make a big splash.

Julie Danielson features authors and illustrators at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, a children’s literature blog.

This article was originally published in the June 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews