Fish Girl

Fish Girl

Graphic Novel - 2017
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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. Their growing friendship inspires Fish Girl's longing for freedom, independence, and a life beyond the aquarium tank.
Publisher: New York :, Clarion Books,, [2017]
Characteristics: 182 pages :,colour illustrations ;,26 cm.
Additional Contributors: Wiesner, David 1956-


From Library Staff

Napoli teams with Caldecott winner David Wiesner in this Graphic Novel about a young mermaid who is the main attraction in an aquarium. She can’t talk and she can’t walk but she can make friends with a girl named Livia. Can she find a new life on land?

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Michael Colford Apr 13, 2020

David Wiesner and Donna Jo Napoli have created a lovely and gorgeous graphic novel suitable for younger children. It's a story about a young mermaid who lives in an aquarium that fills an entire three-story house. Ruled over by Neptune, God of the Sea, this young mermaid has strict instructions to stay mostly in hiding, yet to allow the people who are wandering through the house admiring the beautiful sea life who exist with her fleeting glimpses of herself... enough to tantalize and keep them coming back to try and find her.

Then one young girl does. Slowly, over time this adventurous girls dubs her Mira, short for Miracle, and the two become friends, despite the fact that Mira can't speak. Still, every time the meet, Mira leans more from her new friend, and a growing desire to see the world beyond her own. Gradually, Mira succeeds in her quest, even as she discovers other secrets that were kept from her, but with her friends, including a protective octopus, Mira eventually finds her destiny, a destiny that holds sacrifice and great promise... just like growing up.

The story is simple, but far from childish, and is entertaining for all ages. David Wiesner's beautifully painted illustrations are the real star here bringing to intricate life the undersea world, as well as the innocence of childhood, and the complexity of growing up.

Oct 21, 2017

Good story; would have liked more resolution at the end.

forbesrachel May 14, 2017

The Fish Girl has lived her whole life under the care of Neptune, playing her part to entertain his guests and make money. Thing is, her whole life has been a lie. In her seclusion, this young mer-girl had no other word source for information, so it is only when she meets Livia, that she begins to truly question who Neptune is, and why he insists on her remaining hidden. Events enfold in a steady, calm manner, letting readers take the time to absorb the beauty of the narrative and visuals. Wiesner's usual surrealistic imagery is grounded by Napoli's framework, but is no less impressive. Mira lives in a cage, a house converted into an aquarium with components of both. Her fish friends float around with her from floor to floor, with Neptune's pool stage being on the top floor. It is a beautiful example of watercolour and ink artwork, and a style that stands out among children's graphic novels. Napoli's text is very concise, focusing namely on the inner speech of Mira to help us understand and connect with her. Fish Girl's quiet tale of friendship and freedom will touch many a heart.

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