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“Julián is a Mermaid” by Jessica Love

This book, so beautifully written and illustrated by Jessica Love, is a celebration of individuality and a heartwarming story of unconditional love and acceptance. Julián is a Mermaid tells the story of a little boy, Julián, who spies three women on the subway one day and is entranced by their beautiful hair, their shimmering mermaid gowns and their confidence. When Julián gets home, he wants to become a mermaid himself. What follows is the most heartwarming response from Julián’s abuela (grandmother) and a lesson in being seen and loved exactly as you are.

Wilkie is going through a phase right now (or perhaps it’s not a phase — I don’t care either way!) where he wants to wear a cape at all times. Having this cape on gives him the confidence to dance and sing flambouyantly and theatrically (usually singing a song from ‘Frozen’ or ‘Moana’), and he does this in such a beautiful, uninhibited way. There is a page in this book where Julian takes down his abuela’s curtains and uses it as his mermaid skirt, and it reminded me of something Wilkie would do with a cape. In fact, Wilkie made me pause on that page, watching with a smile as Julián turn himself into a mermaid.

Whether you have a little boy who want to be a mermaid (or a princess!), or a boy who wants to dress like a girl, or a girl who want to be a boy, or even a boy who would never even think of dressing as a mermaid, this book beautifully celebrates the freedom of individual gender expression and deserves a place on every child’s bookshelf.

Courtney x


Comments (3)

Kate Panchal
June 16, 2020

Fabulous recommendation! Embracing individuality and seeing your child as uniquely “themselves” can sometimes be difficult. A beautiful reminder to engage and accept your child for who they are and where they’re at. Gorgeous illustrations, too.

June 16, 2020

I bought this book last week and i love it so much!

June 17, 2020

This book is perfect. My two boys are 6 and 2 and love pink and hearts and sparkles. My oldest now says pink is his secret favorite color because of the kids at school, but I try every day to channel the magic from this book and discuss how it’s ok to just like what you like and be who you are.

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