Julian loves mermaids. And one day, while riding the subway home with his Abuela, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. They are mermaids! Imagining himself as a mermaid, Julian’s dream is interrupted when they must get off the subway. But that does not stop him. He finds a way to continue using his imagination. It is Abuela that also finds a special way to help him celebrate mermaids and who he is.
This is another book about being yourself and celebrating that difference. The pages of Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love also captures something else. Yes, Julian might be gay. Or he might be transgender. But also, Julian might just really love mermaids and is a child using his imagination like almost any child I know to pretend that they are a mermaid. Simple as that. When a book does not preach about a child and their differences, it can becomes a more pleasant experience because you are able to take from it what you need and what you want from it.
Extravagant illustrations dominate the pages. They bring to life an ocean world that is a world filled with colorful fish and merpeople. The brilliance of the illustrations are truly a work of art. They have a feel of being fluid and realistic with a somewhat dream-like quality. The minimal text, in many ways, is second to the art of the illustrations. Read the illustrations like you would text and there you will find hints about what is coming.