Julian Is a Mermaid

Julian Is a Mermaid

By Author / Illustrator

Jessica Love


Representation & Inclusion

Age range(s)



Walker Books Ltd




Paperback / softback




A glimpse of three women dressed as mermaids leaves one boy filled with wonder and ready to dazzle the world.

While riding the subway home with his Nana one day, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train carriage. When Julian gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies and making his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Nana think about the mess he makes - and even more importantly - what will she think about how Julian sees himself?

"Every choice Jessica Love makes imbues the story with charm, tenderness and humor" New York Times Book Review



Julian is a little boy who loves mermaids. He is on his way home with his Nana one day when he notices three joyous women beautifully dressed up as though they are mermaids. Their hair is vibrant, long and flowing; their dresses end in fish tails; and their obvious happiness in their own skin, oozes out for all to see and feel. Julian is in awe and his imagination runs wild. When he gets home, he can think of nothing more exciting than becoming a mermaid too! He puts on some make up, styles his hair and fashions himself a long mermaid tail. But what will Nana think when she sees him? The water-colour style illustrations in this book are vibrant and refreshing. The characters are diverse in both shape and size and so perfectly depict a text that celebrates individuality, joy and acceptance. The text in this book was a little too sparse for me personally, and therefore I didn't enjoy it as much as I anticipated. Although, with such limited text the reader is able to take as much or as little they want from the images and make up their own interpretations of the thoughts conjured up by young Julian. This picture book has a place in the classroom as a resource to use to discuss gender stereotypes, embracing whoever you are and expressing creativity. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Nikki Stiles, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 3+


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