Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
Julián is a mermaid
Book
2018
Please select and request a specific volume by clicking one of the icons in the 'Find It' section below.
Find It
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

On the subway with his abuela after swim class, Julián is enchanted by a group of stylish women in mermaid costumes on their way to a parade. Once home, while his abuela is in the shower, Julián improvises a mermaid costume for himself out of curtains, a potted plant, and a vase of flowers. When Abuela sees the tiny havoc he wreaked in her living room, she doesn't scold him; rather, she embraces his enthusiasm, gives him the finishing touch for his costume, and takes him to the parade. Love's painted scenes glow against muted backgrounds, with saturated, opaque tones tracing the graceful shapes of the figures. They're especially striking when Julián gets swept away in a vivid underwater fantasy: a school of sea creatures whirls around him as he transforms into a mermaid. That scene is nicely replicated when he arrives at the parade, which is populated by scores of people in a wide variety of inventive costumes. The affectionate depiction of a broad range of body types and skin tones makes this particularly cheery.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2018 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

Julin knows he's a mermaid.On the el with his abuela, Afro-Latinx Julin looks on, entranced, as three mermaids enter their car. Instantly enamored, Julin imagines himself a mermaid. In a sequence of wordless double-page spreads, the watercolor, gouache, and ink artperfect for this watercentric taledepicts adorable Julin's progression from human to mermaid: reading his book on the el with water rushing in, then swimming in that water and freeing himself from the constraints of human clothing as his hair grows longer (never losing its texture). When Julin discovers he has a mermaid tail, his charming expressions make his surprise and delight palpable. At home, Julin tells Abuela that he, too, is a mermaid; Abuela admonishes him to "be good" while she takes a bath. A loose interpretation of being "good" could include what happens next as Julin decides to act out his "good idea": He sheds his clothes (all except undies), ties fern fronds and flowers to his headband, puts on lipstick, and fashions gauzy, flowing curtains into a mermaid tail. When Abuela emerges with a disapproving look, readers may think Julin is in troublebut a twist allows for a story of recognition and approval of his gender nonconformity. Refreshingly, Spanish words aren't italicized.Though it could easily feel preachy, this charmingly subversive tale instead offers a simple yet powerful story of the importance of being seen and affirmed. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
Winner of a 2019 Stonewall Book Award<br> <br> In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world. <br> <br> 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.
Displaying 1 of 1