Written and Illustrated by: Jessica Love
For Ages: 4-8 years
Language: English and Spanish
Topics Covered: Self-Acceptance, Gender Expression, Latinx Family Life
Summary: Julián is a Mermaid is a vivid, fantastical celebration of family, exploration and most of all…mermaids! Julián LOVES mermaids, so when he sees the beautiful women of color in their mermaid costumes while heading home on the train with his abuela, he begins to imagine his own transformation into a mermaid. Upon arriving home, Julián takes the opportunity to create his own mermaid costume while his grandmother is taking a bath. When she catches him, he is afraid she will be angry. Instead, she takes him to the Mermaid Parade on Coney Island where he can be with other mermaids!
This book has beautiful illustrations, and few words. This allows the reader to be transported and really think about what Julián might be feeling in these moments. His grandmother immediately embraces Julián for who he is, and introduces him to a whole new world where he can be himself.
About the Author/Illustrator:
Jessica Love (she/her) is a published children’s book author and illustrator. Her first book, Julián is a Mermaid (Candlewick Press) is a New York Times Editor’s Pick. Jessica grew up in the Los Padres National Forest in Southern California, raised by a pair of artist parents. She studied printmaking and illustration at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and then went on to study acting at Juilliard. Jessica lives in Brooklyn, and splits her time acting in plays, and illustrating.