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Julian Is a Mermaid
Contributor(s): Love, Jessica, Love, Jessica (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0763690457     ISBN-13: 9780763690458
Publisher: Candlewick Pr
    OUR PRICE: $15.30  
Product Type: School And Library
Published: April 2018
Annotation: Glimpsing a trio of women dressed up in fabulous mermaid costumes while riding the subway home with his abuela, little Julián resolves to make a fancy mermaid costume and headdress for himself and wonders what his abuela will think of the mess he makes, and more importantly, how his costume will reflect how he sees himself.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Mermaids; Fiction.
Gender nonconformity; Fiction.
Individuality; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States
- Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Other, Non-religious
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: bl2018080220
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 1-2, Age 6-7
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 9.25" H x 10.00" W x 0.25" (0.85 lbs) 40 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2018 #3)
The front endpapers show a group of older women in a pool and a boy swimming underwater. On the next spread (the copyright and title pages), the child, Julián, is walking to the subway with one of the women, his abuela, followed by three magnificent-looking people dressed as mermaids. Julián loves mermaids, and this encounter leads him into a daydream where he dives deep into the water, shedding clothes and transforming himself into a mermaid. Arriving home, the boy creates a makeshift mermaid outfit from household objects (including the leaves of a houseplant and window curtains) and puts on lipstick. When Abuela discovers her grandson in mermaid attire, there's a very slight narrative pause: "‘Oh!' Uh-oh." How will she react? Happily, it's all good: Abuela gives Julián a string of beads to complete the outfit, then the two walk proudly arm in arm toward a festive parade, joining others joyfully dressed as mermaids, stingrays, and other sea creatures (à la Coney Island's Mermaid Parade). Julián's emotional journey takes on depth through small but important details: a wary look in the mirror, a slight inward slump of the shoulders, a chin held high while marching down the street. Love uses vibrant watercolors with gouache and ink and a lively style to create scenes that splash and swirl to life on the page. minh lê Copyright 2018 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 March #1)

Riding home on the subway, Julián is transfixed by three mermaids—voluptuous and self-possessed, with flowing tresses of black, pink, and red, and wearing aqua fishtail costumes (the book is printed on a Kraft-like paper, so the colors seem to literally glow). "Julián loves mermaids," writes debut author-illustrator Love, and her protagonist falls into a reverie: he's under the sea, and amid a dazzling school of fish, he sprouts a radiant orange fishtail and waist-length curly hair. While Abuela takes a bath, Julián takes matters into his own hands. He strips down to his underpants, paints his lips purple, fashions a fishtail costume from curtains, and creates a headdress from ferns and flowers. He is, in a word, fabulous. Love lets an anxious beat pass before Abuela takes Julián by the hand, leading him to what some readers may recognize as the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. "Like you, mijo," says Abuela. "Let's join them." Love's deep empathy for her characters and her keen-eyed observations of urban life come together in a story of love, understanding, and embracing the mermaid within us all. Ages 4–8. (May)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 March)

PreS-Gr 2—Young Julian lives with his abuela and is obsessed with mermaids. He imagines taking off his clothes, growing a tail, and swimming freely through the blue-tinted water with swirls of fish and stingrays. After spying some women on a train dressed as mermaids, Julian later tells his abuela, "I am also a mermaid," then proceeds to wrap a curtain around his waist as a "tail." Ferns in his hair complete the fantastical look, and when his grandmother catches him —is he in trouble? Not at all! In fact, she takes Julian to a festival where people are dressed as fantastically as Julian. Love couples the spare narrative with vivid, imaginative, and breathtaking illustrations. VERDICT A heartwarming must-have for one-on-one and small group sharing.—Amanda C. Buschmann, Carroll Elementary School, Houston

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.