5.17.2011

Festive City: Mermaids on Parade

Mermaids on ParadeThe weather here in NYC this week does little to remind one of the impending hot and humid season that is just  around the corner. But the annual Mermaid Parade at Coney Island is only one month away and it's time to start thinking about your costume. Get into the spirit with Melanie Hope Greenberg's Mermaids on Parade.

A young girl experiences the excitement of preparing and participating in her first parade by coming out of her shell... literally. Greenberg's book captures the joy and (barely controlled) chaos of this event in her colorful and detailed pictures which are, unlike the actual parade, nudity-free. My older son is especially in love with the map of the parade route, and mermaid lovers will appreciate the mermaid tail how-to at the end.

We usually think about city landscapes in terms of skyscrapers and noisy streets so a book set at a city beach -- albeit a crowded one -- is a nice change of pace. Throughout the book Greenberg continually reminds us that this is a city beach by including the skylines, nearby apartment buildings and the F train as part of her illustrations. But let's not forget the people! Just like the actual Mermaid Parade, Greenberg's vibrant and colorful illustrations are overrun with people! She also used locals as the inspiration for many of the drawn character extras in her book, including one of our friends!

For those who love cities, parades, costumes, beaches, mermaids and especially 2 year olds who love the F train. 

Want More?
Visit the Coney Island website.
Learn more about the author by visiting her blog where your can learn all sort of interesting things, like how she creates illustrations, who were the models for the people in the book, and you can download free coloring pages.
If you want to buy her books -- buy directly from the author! It's a great way to support picture book writers.
Read a short interview with the author at Posterband (note, she says "Please do not stereotype me as urban!" -- understandable)
I also reviewed the Greenberg-illustrated A City Is.

Big Kid says: Let me see that map....
Little Kid says: F Train!

6 comments:

melanie hope greenberg said...

Big Thanks! xo Melanie

Even in Australia said...

In one of the All-of-A-Kind-Family books (either the first or the second, I think), they go to the beach and Henny gets lost. I think in this age of air-conditioning we forget what access to the beach, water and sea breezes meant to many city dwellers a century ago.

Raising a Happy Child said...

We love this book. Checked it out of the library twice. Every time Anna says that she would like to make a costume but never really follows up on it.

melanie hope greenberg said...

Dear Raising, THANKS! That is music to my ears.

The back of the book gives easy tail instructions. I also create mermaid crowns that use one sheet of card stock. One long end that's a straight 3 inch band for the back. The other side is the front which is a 3 inch band and I create half circle or pyramid shape(s) in the middle. Cut and decorate. Glue or staple the front and back together. Voila!

I would love to have more parents on Facebook because I have photo albums from my programs at Brooklyn Central Library, etc that show the tails and crown making. As well as art and my author visits and events. Facebook is under my full name or go to my blog link above or website to find the FB link.

Thanks, everyone! mhg

Alex said...

I love that you reviewed this book. I am putting together a package to send my daughter in China and am going to include this. She loves the mermaid parade and we gone more times than I can count. When she laments about what she misses in NYC, the mermaid is always top of the list. Kudos to Melanie Greenberg for this book.

melanie hope greenberg said...

I love talking to the parents who are aware of my books. You are the one's that put my books into children's hands, it is an honor!

MERMAIDS ON PARADE went Out of Print suddenly.
I bought what stock was left. Get autographed copies from this link:
http://mermaidsonparade.blogspot.com/2009/11/collect-melanies-art-and-books.html

OR at these NYC indie bookstores:
http://mermaidsonparade.blogspot.com/2009/02/theme-community-local-bookstores-that.html

Thanks!

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