Julian Is a Mermaid

By Jessica Love

A glimpse of three women dressed as mermaids leaves one boy filled with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.

Mesmerizing and full of heart, this is a picture book about self-confidence and love, and a radiant celebration of individuality. While riding the subway home with his Nana one day, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train carriage. When Julian gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies and making his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Nana think about the mess he makes – and even more importantly – what will she think about how Julian sees himself?

Categories: Picture Books

For readers aged: 4+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781406380637
  • Published: 07 Jun 2018
  • Price: £11.99
  • Size: 230 x 250 mm
  • Pages: 40

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Customer reviews


'This is Jessica Love’s debut picture book, and every choice she makes — the spare text, a color palette both muted and lively, full-bleed pages that make even subway cars and apartment rooms feel as expansive as the ocean — imbues the story with charm, tenderness and humor…Alongside Julián, readers learn that anyone can be a mermaid: All it takes is love and acceptance, a little imagination and a big swishy tail.' The New York Times Book Review

'“Quite possibly one of the best stories I’ve ever read.[…] I’m completely blown away by this book. This is definitely a book we’ll treasure forever. […] [Jessica Love has] now in my opinion written one of the best children’s books of our children’s time.”' Liv, UltimateGirlGang

'“Easily my favourite book of the year. A glorious ode to inclusivity, diversity, transcendence of societally determined “norms”, and fierce, fierce love. Jessica Love has thrown down a marker for her fellow picture book artists — challenge, push, and play. The result is not just artistic perfection, but a book which serves as a giant hug for those who feel their dreams must be deferred for fear they are too different. A book which says, I see you for all of who you are, and you are fabulous.”' Stephanie Cummings, Two In A Tepee

'“A powerful but gentle read Julian Is A Mermaid transcends gender stereotypes, body-shape, ethnicity and family dynamics. Brimming with acceptance and celebrating individuality, there’s something for everyone in this book."' Sarah Yewman, Picture Books Blogger

'[...] one of the most beautiful books we’ve come across... artistically satisfying to a child & adults eye. But most importantly, it’s a book about embracing differences, understanding individuality and freedom to express your inner creativity. We’re totally in love with this one! We recommend this book for your little ones.' The Motherhood Group

'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.' Publishers Weekly

'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.' Kirkus starred review

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