The Mermaid

illus. by Jan Brett. 32p. Putnam. Aug. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399170720.
PreS-Gr 2—In an aquatic version of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," Kiniro, the beautiful mermaid, is intrigued by the mystique and beauty of the little seashell house she swims by. Curious, she enters the home and sees breakfast set on the table. Unable to resist, Kiniro tastes the marine delicacies. The delicious morsel in the smallest bowl is her favorite, and she eats it up completely. The mermaid then floats to the living room and sits in three chairs. The smallest chair is the prettiest, but she breaks it to bits as she tries to wiggle in. Finally, Kiniro feels the three beds and discovers that she loves the little clamshell swing bed the most. This is where the octopus family finds her when they return to their watery abode. Not only is this fractured fairy tale a delight to read, there is also an adorable side story skillfully told in the border art as only Brett can. Set in the waters off of the coast of Okinawa, this colorful picture book is exquisite. The full-page illustrations are gorgeous in shades of turquoise, pink, green, and blue. The border art is detailed, and readers could spend hours diving into all there is to explore.
VERDICT A one-on-one treat for folktale aficionados and, of course, for Brett's many fans.

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