cover image Remarkables


Lisa Mantchev, illus. by David Litchfield. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-9717-6

In an enigmatic story, a boy snorkeling in the waters off a Coney Island–like amusement park has an unexpected encounter: “The world is a remarkable place, which means sometimes you go looking for a fish... and meet a mermaid instead,” Mantchev writes pensively. In a sequence of wordless tableaus, the mermaid—nymphlike in Litchfield’s enchanting art, with blue-green hair and a coppery tail—takes the boy to the ruins of her underwater home. On the surface, a circus is in full swing, full of revelers in long dresses and top hats. The mermaid and boy travel with the circus from city to city, the mermaid performing in small pools, then a glass aquarium. Readers may wonder at the mermaid’s decision to give up the ocean for circus life, but the choice is clearly her own—as is her decision to eventually return home (“Sometimes we go looking for an adventure only to discover exactly where we belong”). Ages 4–8. (Sept.)