Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Review - Julián Is a Mermaid

Julián Is a Mermaid
by Jessica Love
Date: 2018
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

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, Julián 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 Julián 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 Julián 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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a cute story about being yourself.

Julián sees some women dressed as mermaids on the subway, and he wants to be like them. While his grandmother is having a bath, he dresses himself up as a mermaid using a houseplant and some curtains. When his grandmother first sees him, she doesn't look very happy. Julián thinks he's going to be in trouble. But she eventually helps Julián with his costume, encouraging him to express himself.

I like the message here, and the illustrations are really lovely. People of all shapes, sizes, and colours are represented here. The scenes at the end are especially fun to look at.

I'd heard of this book and its message, and I'm glad I finally got a chance to read it. I'd definitely recommend this one to those looking for books about individuality and acceptance.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4.33 out of 5

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