Monday, November 27, 2017

Wiesner, David, and Donna Jo Napoli. Fish Girl.

Wiesner, David, and Donna Jo Napoli.  Fish Girl. Houghton Mifflin/Clarion     2017  186p  $17.99  Paperback  ISBN 978-0-547-48393-1  elem/ms  Graphic novel     E-BN 

In a seaside attraction with a multilevel aquarium there lives a mermaid. Her best friend is an octopus.  She is the star attraction, but she has been taught to let the audience get only quick glimpses of her. The man who runs the attraction calls himself Neptune.  He tells the story that he is the god of the sea and makes waves and lightning with his trident.
The mermaid disobeys him and meets a human girl, who visits often.  To try to see what is really going on, the mermaid climbs out of her tank and discovers she has legs when her tail is dry.  During a very heavy storm she escapes the aquarium and frees all the other fish who were also trapped there.  On the beach amid the destruction caused by the storm, she finds her friend and goes off with her family.
The illustrations are luscious, using vibrant color with a great amount of detail. The mermaid is very tactfully drawn, hidden behind various sea creatures or plants, or wearing a dress. The words are minimal, with the thoughts of the mermaid shown in blocks rather than bubbles.  The story line follows the background story of mermaids.  Readers will love it.  This will be an excellent purchase for upper-elementary and middle-school students.

Summary: Fish Girl tells the story of a mermaid.  She is on display at a seaside attraction cared for by a man who calls himself Neptune.  She meets a human girl and wishes to be human, too. Grade 5-8.   

Mermaids-Fiction                                            --Joan Theal

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