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Jessica Love (The Children's Book Podcast #438)

May 8, 2018



Jessica Love makes her picture book debut as both author and illustrator in JULIÁN IS A MERMAID, a story about a young boy who imagines himself turning into a mermaid after encountering three women dressed as mermaids on the subway. The story is spacious, and here is what I mean by that. There is room in this story for readers to make their own connections, to build their own understandings. As Jessica so beautifully puts it in our interview, it's as if the artist is throwing a ball into the unknown and the reader has the chance to catch it. All of the magic is held or contained there in the suspense. I cannot wait for you to encounter this book.




In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.


While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Juli n notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Juli n gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Juli n sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love's author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.







Jessica is a Broadway actress and an illustrator. She has a BA in studio art from UC Santa Cruz, as well as a graduate degree from Juilliard.

*This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will support the costs of maintaining the podcast, webcomic, and other materials associated with this site. 


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