Julián Is a Mermaid

Posted: May 28, 2018 in Picture storybooks



Julián Is a Mermaid, written and illustrated by Jessica Love. Candlewick, 2018

Julián sees mermaids, and he is mesmerized. He enters a fishy, fantasy world, and transforms to a mermaid. Julián’s abuela recognizes how Julián sees himself, and takes him to where there are others who are — mermaids.
Begin this standout journey with Julián on the endpapers, where he is in a pool with his abuela and women who may be of a similar age. The careful observer will notice a fish tail on the page of the open book Julián is reading in the subway on the way home, which leads to the aquatic fantasy. His abuela’s face seems to not change throughout the story– is she tired? stern? disapproving? thoughtful? Or, accepting and supportive. Motifs throughout the book add to the watery settings — fish with tropical colorations and patterns, a splashing fire hydrant, a seagull outside of Julián’s window, and finally, the beach.
The back jacket flap states the author-illustrator, Jessica Love, is an actor and an illustrator, and the understated drama in the softly saturated illustrations work in tandem in this generational and unquestioning story.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.


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