Fish Girl
Fish Girl

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Annotation: Fish Girl, a young mermaid living in a boardwalk aquarium, has never interacted with anyone beyond the walls of her tank until a chance encounter with an ordinary girl, Livia.
Catalog Number: #138880
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Wiesner, David,
Pages: 182 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-547-48393-7 Perma-Bound: 0-605-97187-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-547-48393-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-97187-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016026973
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
The main attraction of novelty aquarium Ocean Wonders is a mermaid named Fish Girl. When Fish Girl is befriended by a human, she starts to wonder: what would happen if she got out of her fish-tank prison? Wiesner and Napoli create an intriguing, original graphic-novel tale, featuring Wiesner's trademark clean lines and studied details in watercolor panel illustrations. A welcome addition to any graphic novel collection.
Kirkus Reviews
Napoli and Wiesner transport readers under the sea, introducing them to a modern-day heroine who longs to be part of their world.In this riveting graphic novel adaptation of the famous Andersen fairy tale, the nameless mermaid character is part of an aquatic exhibit run by a man who plays the part of Neptune the sea god. Napoli and Wiesner use the form's sparse dialogue to deftly reimagine the fairy tale's essential elements, from the heartbreaking divide between land and sea to the indomitable heroine who is willing to risk everything to cross that barrier and follow her heart—in this case, catalyzed by her growing friendship with a human girl who visits her regularly in the aquarium. The shrewd interpretation of the tale's sexual politics is its most striking feature. The mermaid becomes an Everygirl who discovers that her identity and personhood are subordinated to a man whose sinister charm barely conceals his marginalizing view of her as profitable merchandise. Given current events, the image of a falsely benevolent Neptune who systematically chips away at the mermaid's self-worth feels eerily apt, rendering the mermaid's desire for a life on land all the more poignant. Wiesner's artwork aptly conveys the narrative's tone, but the muted color palette makes his illustrations feel oddly inert. The mermaid, her human friend, and Neptune all have fair skin. A thought-provoking work that is not to be missed. (Graphic fantasy. 10-16)
Publishers Weekly
In Wiesner and Napoli-s unsettling tale of self-discovery, a young mermaid who stars in a boardwalk aquarium show begins to question her circumstances after a human girl offers her friendship. Though she can-t talk and has never been outside, Mira-as her new friend Livia christens her-slowly realizes that the show-s domineering owner, Neptune, may not be as benevolent or godlike as he seems. -The scientists will take you to a lab,- he threatens, warning her against being seen. -They-ll cut you open.- With Livia-s encouragement, help from her fellow sea creatures, and her own extra-human powers, Mira delivers herself from her captor. Napoli (Dark Shimmer) and Wiesner (Mr. Wuffles!) create a plot that crackles, and Wiesner-s graceful, classically proportioned artwork makes the story-s fantastical elements clear and believable. But Neptune-s catalog of classic psychological abuse seems to belong to an edgier tale. Livia-s goofy presence counterbalances the menace (-This is a cheese and lettuce sandwich,- she explains to Mira, holding up a drawing), and Mira-s sidekick-a huge, brooding octopus-offers her the love that Neptune withholds. Ages 10-12. (Mar.)

School Library Journal
Gr 4&11;8&12;Children's literature powerhouses Napoli and Wiesner have teamed up to create a striking graphic novel. On the boardwalk, visitors flock to Ocean Wonders, a tank filled with a shark, fish, an octopus, and a turtle&12;and the star attraction, the elusive Fish Girl. Though kids stare into the water, they catch only a glimpse of the mermaid's fin or arm. Fish Girl's owner and protector, who calls himself Neptune, exerts a Svengali-like control over his mute ward, claiming that he once ruled the ocean and forbidding her from fully revealing herself. But when the young mermaid befriends a girl who visits the tank, she begins to question Neptune's stories about her past and to dream about escaping. Employing inspired composition, a masterly sense of perspective and angles, and a palette dominated by vivid blues and greens, Wiesner submerges readers in Fish Girl's world, conveying both her affection for her home and her companion Octopus and her desire to know life outside her constricting tank. The realistic images and controlled linework hint at a sense of magic below the surface. However, the narrative may stymie readers. Many questions go unanswered (for instance, how does Fish Girl trade her scales and fins for legs when she leaves the water?), and the book ends on a somewhat ambiguous note. VERDICT A gorgeous though cryptic offering; hand this modern-day fairy tale to those who appreciate folklore-influenced fiction.&12;Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Fish Girl lives in an aquarium, where visitors come to hear Neptune tell tales of the sea and to search for the elusive girl hiding in the tanks. When a human girl, Livia, sees Fish Girl, the two strike up a friendship that will bring secrets to light and put an end to Fish Girl's solitude. Wiesner and Napoli, two longtime, well-respected children's book creators, have turned their focus to graphic novels, and the result is simply beautiful. Napoli tells the story from Fish Girl's perspective, and she is a smart, determined character, despite her restrictive upbringing. She and Livia appear to be about 12 and have the combination of impending maturity and childishness that is unique to tweens. Their friendship is strong and believable, creating a solid foundation for a tale that eschews The Little Mermaid's reliance on romance as an agent of change. Caldecott-winner Wiener keeps all of the subtlety and quirkiness of his picture books and adds the clear panel layouts and the skillful narrative flow of a well-executed graphic novel. His luminous colors give the perfect touch of magic to this graceful, gentle story that will strike a chord with fans of such Studio Ghibli movies as Ponyo.
Word Count: 5,534
Reading Level: 2.3
Interest Level: 5-9
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.3 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 187656 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.5 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q69772
Lexile: GN460L

The triple Caldecott winner David Wiesner brings his rich visual imagination and trademark artistry to the graphic novel format in a unique coming-of-age tale that begins underwater. A young mermaid, called Fish Girl, in a boardwalk aquarium has a chance encounter with an ordinary girl. Their growing friendship inspires Fish Girl's longing for freedom, independence, and a life beyond the aquarium tank. Sparkling with humor and brilliantly visualized, Fish Girl's story will resonatewith every young person facing the challenges and rewards of growing up.

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