Fish Girl

Donna Jo Napoli, 1948-

Book - 2017

"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"--

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jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Napoli
1 / 2 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Napoli Due Jun 11, 2022
Children's Room jGRAPHIC NOVEL/Napoli Checked In
Subjects
Genres
Graphic novels
Published
New York : Clarion Books [2017]
Language
English
Physical Description
182 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
ISBN
9780547483931
0547483937
9780544815124
0544815122
Main Author
Donna Jo Napoli, 1948- (author)
Other Authors
David Wiesner (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*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. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–8—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—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.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"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"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A chance encounter with an ordinary girl gives Fish Girl, a young mermaid living in a boardwalk aquarium, inspires her to fulfill her dream of a life beyond the aquarium tank.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The three-time Caldecott Medalist behind Tuesday and the author of The King of Mulberry Street follows the coming-of-age of a young mermaid who dreams of freedom and independence outside of her boardwalk aquarium. Simultaneous. 15,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

David Wiesner’s first graphic novel, with text by acclaimed author Donna Jo Napoli, is a beautiful, engaging, and frequently funny coming-of-age tale about a mermaid for middle grade readers.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

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 resonate with every young person facing the challenges and rewards of growing up.