Fish Girl Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-19 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 12 user ratings

" When I’m matching middle school readers to books, my most successful handsell trick is to stage whisper to a seventh grader, “I’m giving this book to you, but honestly I would never give it to a sixth grader. If I put it in an elementary school library, I’d probably be asked not to come back!” That comment tends to turn heads and sell books faster than if I tucked vouchers for free Jolly Ranchers in the pages.Finish the review: " said.

"David Wiesner and DJ Napoli? Yes, please!

There's something soft and blurry about Wiesner's illustration style that drives me batty. I keep reaching for my glasses only to realize that I'm already wearing them. That said, I still love him. His attention to (seemingly blurry but actually not) detail makes me so very happy.

There's an adult-edge creepiness to this story that is difficult to explain. It doesn't come from the illustrations, which are kid friendly as can be, but from the unspoken motivations of Neptune himself. I wouldn't hesitate to put this book out in my third grade classroom, but I also feel like I could easily write a grad school paper on child agency, the sexual exploitation of children, and loss of innocence with the discovery of "legs".

I'll keep this little gem of a book on my shelf, oh yes indeed.
" said.

"This review and others posted over at my blog.

This is a light, middle-grade graphic novel focusing on Mira’s journey for the truth and independence. I love Donna Jo Napoli’s work (Zel anyone!? That’s one of my favorite middle-grade novels) and mermaids, so I was excited to receive a copy of Fish Girl.

Art style is a big factor for me when it comes to graphic novels (part of the reason why I don’t purchase too many of them) and unfortunately, Wiesner’s style wasn’t for me (in Fish Girl anyway. I loved Art & Max). However, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story; it just didn’t add to it either.

Mira’s narrative in regards to her life inside the aquarium and her experiences is a bit obvious because, due to the nature of the graphic novel, it’s easy to see what she’s doing and her recap of events wasn’t always necessary. The book is aimed at younger readers though so extra narration might be useful in some cases.

Mira and Livia were likable enough and I found myself liking the octopus despite being seriously creeped out by them in real life. The concept that Mira’s fins transform into legs when outside the water was an interesting one, though I would have liked to know more about why that happens. I was left with many questions at the end, which I won’t raise here because I suppose they’d spoil the story. I’d really love to see this in novel format because I think it would give the characters and the plot more depth.

This is a fun book for mermaid lovers and would make a good tale for younger readers to try out on their own because the dialogue is fairly simple and using sparingly.

I received this book for free from HMH Books in exchange for my honest review.
" said.

" I love the visuals of a house converted into an aquarium. This is a palatable mermaid story that will please legions of young mermaid fans and works for a wide range of ages. If the story's a little slight, that's okay; kids will still check this one out. " said.

"No doubt this graphic novel by a great author and a Caldecott award winning illustrator will get a lot of praise. I wasn't so thrilled with it. Be warned it is definitely not a feel good story. A mermaid and her fish friends are kept in a tank at an amusement park. The mermaid can only show bits of herself to the audience. "Neptune" as he calls himself runs the exhibit. He is pretty darn creepy. Fish Girl kind of thinks of him as a father/God figure. But he is abusive and won't tell her stories at night if she doesn't do her job well during the day and earn enough change for him. A child about Fish Girl's age see's all of Fish Girl one day. They become friends which Neptune doesn't allow. Fish Girl gets out of her tank and discovers via a photo album that Neptune was a fisherman who abducted/stole/found (unclear) the mermaid as a baby and her friend Octopus and other creatures. She had believed Neptune was the person hugging her as a baby but it was the Octopus all wrapped around her lovingly. There is a side story where Fish Girl (who gets legs when she is out of water long enough) wanders through the amusement park and a guy wants to take off with her in his car. Ugh. There is also a pizza guy who wants to call the authorities to either help her or get her arrested. Not sure there. Fish Girl is pretty miserable throughout the whole story. Eventually there is a fierce storm that pummels the building the tank is in. Fish Girl tells her octopus pal to destroy the rest of the building. I don't know how an octopus could do that. All the creatures go back into the ocean. However, Fish Girl can't turn back into a mermaid. She doesn't think the ocean wants her and she would prefer being a human. She sees her friend on the beach who believes Fish Girl has died. They all walk off together with the girl's mom. That's it. I would have liked it better if Fish Girl went into the ocean and found her mermaid family. The human world didn't do Fish Girl many favors. Wiesner clearly did a lot of research for this book. It does stay with you. Not really in a happy way :(" said.

"A mermiad has spent all of her life living at an aquarium run by Triton, King of the sea. Triton is her sole provider and uses the mermaid as part of his show. He asks that she show just enough of herself to keep aquarium guests guessing at to whether or not the mermaid is really there. When a young girl sneaks into a back area of the aquarium she sees the mermaid and attempts to be her friend. As the two visit and the mermaid hears the girl talking the mermaid begins to question who Triton really is and how she came to be in the aquarium.
Beautiful color illustrations bring to life the story of the Fish Girl.
Good for ages 8 and up.
" said.

" Eerie modern day fairy tale, beautifully illustrated. " said.

" Well-written story of the awakening of identity and the longing for freedom (and the greed of the oppressor), but also...David Wiesner's illustrations. " said.

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