April 14, 2014
The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell
The Mermaid and the Shoe
by K. G. Campbell
Kids Can Press
King Neptune has 50 daughters, each with remarkable talents ranging from gardening, to singing to training fishes. And then, there’s Minnow with her limp garden, disobedient fish and a voice that does not bring light to the deep. Her one talent is her ability to ask questions. Lots of questions.
Then one day something new drifts down to their home in the deep. Readers will immiedately recognize it is a red high-heeled shoe. The mermaids try it out as a hat and a jewel box but nothing works. Soon their attention drifts off to new things, all except Minnow. Not surprisingly, Minnow asks questions.
First she asks an octopus what it is. Then a whale. She travels into the shallows to ask the crabs. There, she explores the surface. Just as she’s ready to leave, a little girl runs down to the water. When the girl pulls off her shoes, Minnow realize what it is that she has found and returns to her people with a story to tell. Minnow has found her place.
From the start, I had a soft spot for Minnow, not surprisingly since Minnow is the nickname my son earned in Scouts.
Campbell’s watercolor and pencil illustrations are dark and moody when she depicts the world of the mermaids but lightens and brightens as Minnow ventures to the surface. I love the way she depicts the images that Minnow paints with her words. They appear as scenes in giant bubbles, floating toward her audience.
This isn’t a loud story so it would work for bedtime but it is also an excellent choice for quiet reading time with that special young reader in your life. Encourage and inspire them with Minnow’s story.