While there really is no wrong way to celebrate Mer-May, we think all celebrations should include books. What better way to spark the imagination, highlight these stunning swimmers, and be inspired to believe in all the fantastic, wonderful creatures that might be out there. Whether you’re packing books in a beach bag to read by the sea, or snuggled up in one of those super-sparkly mermaid tail blankets, here’s a list of the perfect books for Mer-May!
From Instagram sensation and New York Times bestselling author-artist Soosh comes a heartwarming celebration of friendship between a mermaid and a human girl.
A young girl has always loved Mermaids. Every day she wishes she could be friends with one. And on one magical day, her wish comes true.
Nestled on the beach, a place between their two worlds, these unlikely friends discover imaginative ways to go on many adventures. But will one stormy night drive them apart?
From the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of Dad By My Side comes a gorgeously depicted story bursting with whimsy and imagination that celebrates the power of friendship.
In this captivating reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic, Caldecott medalist and bestselling artist Jerry Pinkney conjures a poignant friendship story and an epic tale of redemption — the definitive new version for our time.
Melody, the littlest sea princess, is not content just to sing in the choir of mermaids like her sisters. She is an explorer who wonders about what lies above the water’s surface . . . especially the young girl she has spied from a distance. To meet her requires a terrible sacrifice: she trades her beautiful voice for a potion that gives her legs, so that she may live on land instead. It seems like a dream come true at first. But when trouble stirs beneath the ocean, Melody faces another impossible choice — stay with her friend, or reclaim her true identity and save her family.
Legendary artist Jerry Pinkney’s singular reinvention of this tale about love and sacrifice empowers young, twenty-first century girls with the strong message that “you should never give up your voice . . . for anyone.”
by Molly Idle
Caldecott Honor author-illustrator Molly Idle dazzles with an original mermaid tale about how small, persistent actions can achieve great things.
Sometimes the tiniest light can shine the brightest! Like the other mermaids of the deep, Pearl longs to care for the endless beaches, coral reefs, and towering kelp forests of her vast ocean world. So when her mother asks her to tend to a mere grain of sand, Pearl is heartbroken. It takes all her patience and determination to discover how even the littlest mermaid can transform the world.
Molly Idle has masterfully crafted a modern classic in this mesmerizing tale about the immense power of small actions.
by Molly Idle
Caldecott Honor author-illustrator Molly Idle offers a stunningly illustrated environmental tale featuring three very different mermaid friends who learn to coexist, in a companion to her acclaimed story Pearl.
Coral, Filly, and Manta live on a sunlit reef teeming with sea life. When Coral comes upon an empty hollow at the heart of the reef and tries to keep it as her very own, Filly and Manta are banished. All that grows in the wake of her anger is regret, and Coral must find a way to turn the tide…but she can’t do it alone.
Molly Idle has brilliantly illustrated a tale both timeless and timely, about the power of collaboration and the profound importance of caring for our environment…and one another.
Illustrated by Cambria Evans
Cover design or artwork by Cambria Evans
Girl by day. Mermaid by night.
This part-time mermaid is ready for adventure! Jump into the sea to play hide-and-seek in coral caves, explore sunken pirate ships, and meet new underwater friends. At the sea palace, it’s almost time for the Midsummer Sea Festival! But . . . where is the merboy and his turtle? Can the Part-time Mermaid find him in time?
And for our older, middle grade readers…
For fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Ali Benjamin comes a poignant yet hopeful novel about a girl navigating grief, trauma, and friendship, from Ashley Herring Blake, the award-winning author of Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World.
Hazel Bly used to live in the perfect house with the perfect family in sunny California. But when a kayaking trip goes horribly wrong, Mum is suddenly gone forever and Hazel is left with crippling anxiety and a jagged scar on her face. After Mum's death, Hazel, her other mother, Mama, and her little sister, Peach, needed a fresh start. So for the last two years, the Bly girls have lived all over the country, never settling anywhere for more than a few months.
When the family arrives in Rose Harbor, Maine, there's a wildness to the small town that feels like magic. But when Mama runs into an old childhood friend—Claire—suddenly Hazel's tight-knit world is infiltrated. To make it worse, she has a daughter Hazel's age, Lemon, who can't stop rambling on and on about the Rose Maid, a local 150-year-old mermaid myth.
Soon, Hazel finds herself just as obsessed with the Rose Maid as Lemon is—because what if magic were real? What if grief really could change you so much, you weren't even yourself anymore? And what if instead you emerged from the darkness stronger than before?