The 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.
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!