Julián is a Mermaid is a beautifully depicted story of a little boy who dreams of being a mermaid.
After seeing some women dressed as beautiful mermaids on the train home from swimming with his abuela (grandmother), Julián has an idea. Suspense builds as Julián’s abuela is in the shower and he explores her home for accessories to create a mermaid costume. Julián picks leaves from a plant, puts on his abuela’s lipstick, and uses her curtain as a mermaid tail. What will she think?
Phew: when Julián’s abuela discovers him in his costume she is not cross. Instead, she proudly gives him some pearls to put around his neck and takes him out in his costume. ‘Where are they going?’ wonders the reader, along with Julián. To a Mermaid Parade, and there are the mermaid women that Julián saw on the train! Love depicts a vibrant and exciting event with all brown-skinned characters. This parade is a real-life event held on Coney Island every summer.
Jessica Love’s latest book, Julián at the Wedding, is a heart-warming addition to the fantastically received Julián is a Mermaid.
Julián at the Wedding follows our key protagonist, Julián, and his new friend, Marisol. The two become friends as they share their duties assisting the two brides. Both Julián and Marisol are cared for by their abuelas (grandmothers), who are good friends. Julián, Marisol, and the brides’ dog break away from the wedding party through play when they come across a beautiful willow tree. Julián, with his strong imagination, sees the tree as a fairy house and gets carried away as he explores within. Meanwhile, Marisol and the dog are excitedly playing on the ground, when, uh oh! – Marisol’s lovely dress has got muddy. Not to worry, friendly Julián has got a solution.
The reader is kept on tenterhooks: how will the abuelas receive them when they return? Phew, their abuelas are not at all cross and encourage the two to enjoy the wedding. The abuelas’ unconditional acceptance and love for the children, as well as the love between the two brides, make love and gender without limitation central themes of this book.