Monday, October 23, 2017

The Mermaid by Jan Brett - ADVISABLE

Brett, Jan. The Mermaid.  G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin), 2017.  $18.99.  Content: G.  PICTURE BOOK.
An ocean spin on Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  In a magical undersea setting near the coast of Okinawa, Japan, live an octopus family.  The baby octopus did not like his new hat.  The family set off for a morning swim.  Meanwhile, Kiniro the mermaid, finds their house.  Breakfast is on the table.  The first is too crunchy.  The second is too slimy.  The third was just right.  She saw three coral chairs.  Too bumpy.  Too slippery.  And too small, she broke the smallest chair.  She fell asleep in the third bed when the octopus family returned home.  The baby octopus found the mermaid sleeping in her bed.  The mermaid saw the baby octopus’s hat wasn’t right.  Just then the octopi reached for the mermaid; she made her escape.  But not before giving the baby octopus her tiara for a new hat.

The attention to small details in the illustrations is astounding.  No little shell or coral reef is overlooked and each illustration is a symphony of color and balance.  Every page has a nautical frame made of seashells and fish. I really liked how the mermaid made some restitution to the octopus family by giving the baby her tiara.  Children will enjoy a familiar story with a fishy twist.     
Pre-K, EL-ADVISABLE.  Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS. 

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