Mermaid Kenzie by Charlotte Watson Sherman, illustrated by Geneva Bowers. Astra Young Readers, (formerly Boyds Mills Press), 2022. 9781635923100
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3.5
Format: Hardcover picture book
What did you like about the book? Kenzie the mermaid loves the water. She loves everything about being in the water and exploring. She often goes out on the water in a boat with her mom and she loves to explore during the day and even at night! But one day, as she puts on her mermaid swim gear and snorkel, she finds herself swimming in a sea of plastic. Kenzie becomes very upset as her mom explains that unfortunately we are polluting our oceans with all the plastic we dump on the beaches, which ends up in the ocean. Kenzie worries about the harm to all of the marine animals that call the ocean home and thinks about what she could do in order to help the ocean. She grabs her spear and begins scooping up the plastic, realizing she can help clean up the ocean and the beach! She is Mermaid Kenzie “Protector of the Deeps”! The illustrations in this book are so beautiful. It is so refreshing to see a story about a black girl who loves to swim and also loves being a mermaid (even if her mermaid tail isn’t real)! The illustrator used vibrant colors in the digitized painting of Kenzie, her mom, and the ocean.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Anything you didn’t like about it? This isn’t something I did not like but just a point of clarification for readers. The book is written using African American vernacular. Readers might perceive some of the sentences as incorrect; however, they are actually written the way that many African Americans speak in the U.S.
To whom would you recommend this book? Perfect for the mermaid and ocean lover! This book is great for readers 6 years and older.
Who should buy this book? Elementary schools
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Rose Metayer, Boston Latin School, Boston MA
Date of review: July 14, 2022