|Mabel : a mermaid fable|
Author: Watkins, Rowboat
A picture book about a mermaid named Mabel, who unlike the rest of her family does not have a moustache, and the seven-armed octopus who becomes her friend and helps her see that she is just right the way she is.
Kirkus Reviews (01/01/20)
School Library Journal (03/20/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2020 Watkins’ expertise at generating humor by defying expectations (see Rude Cakes, 2015, or Pete with No Pants, 2017) is again on display in his newest picture book. Mabel is a young mermaid who is mortified by her lack of a mustache. Everyone in her family has one—even her sisters and baby brother—but Mabel’s upper lip is unbearably bare. Having grown tired of covering it with seashells and “seaweed falsies,” not to mention hearing hurtful shouts of “Nudibranch!” made by passing puffer fish, the mermaid takes to hiding in holes on the ocean floor. But one such hole also contains something with very large eyes. Happily, this turns out to be Lucky, a friendly, seven-armed octopus. Mabel and Lucky resurface together into a world awash in soft seafoam, salmon, and gold tones, where they help one another overcome their insecurities. Watkins anchors his congenial fable in friendship and self-acceptance, the latter delightfully illustrated by Mabel’s revelation that being called a nudibranch (i.e., unique) is actually a compliment. A treasure worth discovering. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/20/2020 PreS-Gr 2—Mabel the Mermaid feels self-conscious because she does not have a mustache like the rest of her family members. She attempts disguises but still feels embarrassed. Other sea creatures make fun of Mabel, so she spends her days hiding in holes along the bottom of the sea. One day, she meets an octopus who is also hiding (he has seven legs instead of eight). Mabel thinks he is perfect the way he is, and a friendship quickly develops. The two learn that friendship is not based on appearances and that they are beautiful just the way they are. Their newfound friendship boosts their confidence, and they face the world boldly, together—a strong message of positivity. The full-page illustrations, created with mixed media, are colorful and vibrant, illuminating the beauty of the ocean floor and its inhabitants. VERDICT This is a refreshing story of difference, acceptance, friendship, and self-confidence. A recommended purchase.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.