FICTION

The Mermaid in the Bathtub

Restless. Oct. 2019. 36p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781632062116.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 3–One day Mr. Whatwilltheysay arrives home to discover that his apartment is flooded and that a mermaid named Grain-of-Sand has moved in. Mr. Whatwilltheysay tries to convince Grain-of-Sand to leave, as he is worried about the reactions of his neighbors. Grain-of-Sand counters his arguments and encourages him to think differently about the situation. Eventually Grain-of-Sand leaves and Mr. Whatwilltheysay is forced to think about what he really wants. Grain-of-Sand and her witty responses are a delight throughout the tale, forcing both Mr. Whatwilltheysay and readers to think about what they consider to be “normal.” The plot is easily followed, and the vocabulary is age-appropriate and properly nautically themed. Modan’s detailed, expressive, and child-friendly illustrations draw readers right into the story and show them a whole new world. The illustrations also work with the story, helping to show the unsaid thoughts and perspectives of each character. Goldfajn has done a great job at translating this story in such a way that the content and wordplay are not lost. Together the creates lead readers right to a treasure trove of perspective, wonder, and a little bit of adventure.
VERDICT An excellent translation and tale about accepting others and embracing change.

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