Julian is a Mermaid written and illustrated by Jessica Love

In her first picture book, Julian is a Mermaid, Jessica Love portrays the loving relationship between a young boy, Julian and his abuela. When they return from a swimming class, Julian sees mermaids on the subway and dreams of becoming a mermaid, too. When he puts together his mermaid costume, he is afraid he will be in trouble with his grandmother. She instead helps him realize his dream. Vibrant artwork combined with a simply told storyline ends with a nod to the annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

This is Jessica Love’s debut picture book, and every choice she makes — the spare text, a color palette both muted and lively, full-bleed pages that make even subway cars and apartment rooms feel as expansive as the ocean — imbues the story with charm, tenderness and humor…Alongside Julián, readers learn that anyone can be a mermaid: All it takes is love and acceptance, a little imagination and a big swishy tail.
—The New York Times Book Review

Love couples the spare narrative with vivid, imaginative, and breathtaking illustrations. A heartwarming must-have for one-on-one and small group sharing.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Refreshingly, Spanish words aren’t italicized. Though it could easily feel preachy, this charmingly subversive tale instead offers a simple yet powerful story of the importance of being seen and affirmed.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)