Is It A Mermaid?
by Candy Gourlay
illustrated by Francesca Chessa
Two children on the beach spot a Dugong -or, rather, a Sea Cow- popping its large grey snout out of the sea. But this Dugong insists she is a she, not an it. And, she declares, with both flippers on her hips, she is a gorgeous mermaid, not a Dugong. Bel is happy to go along with the Dugong's self-identity as she trills and bounces in a mermaid-ish way. But Benji is very unsure about it all, protesting, "You are a Dugong!!!" Will he ever be persuaded?... Fresh, charming, playful and utterly delightful. Luminescent blues and greens show the sweeps of the ocean interrupted by bright flashes of iridescent sea life down below. As day turns to night, the pages become soaked in rusty orange and then inky purples. The text skips along lightly, perfectly capturing children's clear and animated dialogue. And the humour is completely infectious. Who knew that a YA author could jump so effortlessly into such a young age range- more, please, Candy! [ Set in the Phillipines. Nice little backnote on the endangered Dugong. Yes, Dugongs are real]. Age 3-6, Hardback 24pp