Published: April 1st, 2014
The Mermaid and the Shoe
By: K.G. Campbell
Kids Can Press
Each of King Neptune's 50 mermaid daughters boasts a special talent, except for little Minnow, who seems to be good only at asking questions. When she finds a strange object, Minnow follows her questions to a wondrous place and finds answers, including an answer to the most important question of all: Who am I? A gorgeously illustrated story about finding one's purpose.
Minnow is the youngest and smallest of King Neptune's mermaid daughters, and unlike her sisters, she hasn't discovered her talent and special place in the family yet. One day she finds an object floating near her and doesn't know what it is. She thinks it's interesting and goes about asking all her sisters, the other sea creatures and anyone she can think of what it is! Minnow goes above the surface, hoping to find the answer up there. And lo and behold, she sees a little girl and eventually learns what a shoe is and what its purpose happens to be. Minnow goes home to her father and sisters, and tells them the story of what a "shoe" is for, and her father proclaims her an adventurer and storyteller! Minnow has finally found her place in the family and what she is meant to do in life.
This picture book is a very sweet, short look at finding yourself in a family that seems to have it all figured out. Minnow starts off feeling lost, in a sea of talented sisters. By the end of the book, she's recognized her own importance in their lives. The illustrations were beautiful, and I loved the disgust Minnow has for feet! It's so funny, especially after seeing mermaids traditionally envy the ability to walk on land. Minnow definitely prefers her tail to the feet of the humans (whom she describes as "half mermaid, half octopus legs"). One thing I missed in this was the bright, primary colors associated with a lot of children's picture books. This one is beautiful, full of soft blues, greens and grays, with the occasional pop of color. But as its set under the ocean, everything is rather muted. I could definitely see myself reading this one to my four year old niece. It's a very cute book, and I recommend it if you'd like new book to reinforce to a child how special they really are! :D
VERDICT: 3.5/5 Stars
*I received this book from Kids Can Press, on NetGalley. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. This book was published April 1st, 2014.*