The Mermaid Princesses

HarperCollins. Mar. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063205253.
PreS-Gr 3–Three very different mermaid princesses debate who will one day become queen in this enchanting and encouraging tale. Sisters Anaya, Shante, and Kianna could not be more different; Anaya is the kindest and sweetest, Shante is the bravest, while Kianna is the wisest. The one thing all three sisters share is their dream of becoming queen. The trio travel to ask their mother—the current queen—which of them will sit on the throne. Before she can reply, the sisters begin bickering with each other, and are sent away by their mother who informs them that the future queen must be a good sister and protector. Swimming away, they encounter a trapped dolphin in desperate need of help. They quickly work together, using their strengths and learning an invaluable lesson in the process. Cameron-Gordon’s upbeat text is a strong read-aloud choice, instilling in readers the importance of collaboration and helping others. Ortega’s vibrant digital illustrations create a stunning underwater world. The mermaid princesses and queen all present Black; the merpeople of the kingdom are diverse in skin tone. Back matter includes facts about mermaids in African culture, such as tales of Mami Wata and Yemaya.
VERDICT With stunning artwork accompanied by universal themes, this is recommended for purchase for most collections.

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