Molly Schaar Idle

Book - 2018

When young Pearl, a mermaid, becomes caretaker of a single grain of sand, she discovers that performing even the smallest task well can transform the world.

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Bookmobile Children's jE/Idle Due Oct 14, 2022
Children's Room jE/Idle Checked In
Picture books
New York ; Boston : Little, Brown and Company 2018.
First edition
Physical Description
40 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Main Author
Molly Schaar Idle (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Magical curving mermaids floating in a vast sea of blue have various jobs that little Pearl envies. They watch over the breaking waves on the beaches, tend the great coral reefs and kelp forests, and guard the mighty octopus and other giants of the deep. Mother says Pearl's job is to care for a tiny grain of sand, because "The smallest of things can make a great difference." Although dismayed, every day she polishes it, keeping it close until it begins to grow, glowing with a lustrous light. Eventually it rises as a giant ball and settles in the vast sea of stars. Lit by the moon's glowing light, a beaming Pearl swims to rest on a pink seashell in her watery home. Illustrations in Prismacolor pencils contrast the azure, cerulean, and indigo of the sea with the soft white lights of the moon and surf. Pearl pops in pink, surrounded by glorious marine flora and fauna. Every picture is full bleed in double spreads, immersing readers in the glorious ocean environment. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Idle (Flora and the Flamingo) creates an undersea realm of mermaids whose graceful swoops and swirls offer visual delight. Pearl longs to be like the other mermaids, each of whom is assigned something to watch over—vast forests of kelp, giant creatures of the deep. When her mother gives her a single grain of sand, she's heartbroken. "Her heart grew heavy, and the weight of it pulled her down... down... down..." tumbling through the sea of blue until she sinks to the sea floor. But soon she discovers something special about her grain of sand: it glows and grows, and the story soars toward a light-filled, celestial conclusion. The text reads smoothly and naturally, like a retelling of an old fairy tale, and balletic spreads revel in the contrast between the intense pink of the mermaids and the soft aqua of the undersea world. The reminder not to scorn that which appears insignificant is always worth repeating, but here, it's the enthralling underwater acrobatics that will bring readers back. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 1—There are many aspects of an ocean a mermaid might be assigned to watch over: coral reefs, sand beaches, or the living creatures beneath the surface. So young mermaid Pearl is disappointed and saddened to learn that she is to "look after" a single grain of sand. Though reluctant to accept such an insignificant charge, she complies when her mother tells her "The smallest of things can make a great difference." The child takes her responsibility seriously and as she watches, her grain of sand grows bigger and brighter. Beautiful Prismacolor pencil drawings in the blues, greens, and teals of the sea are soft and soothing; additional touches of white and brilliant pink fairly leap off the pages. The white text is placed in a variety of locations throughout the story but, unfortunately, fades and becomes difficult to read on several pages where positioned over a pale portion of the illustration. VERDICT Idle's appealing story is a quiet, charming pourquoi tale that will delight young readers and listeners. Perfect for bedtime or anytime sharing.—Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek Public Library WI Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Longing to help tend the beaches, coral reefs and kelp forests of her vast ocean world, mermaid Pearl is disappointed when she is given the task of caring for a single grain of sand before discovering how small, persistent actions can achieve great things. 35,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When young Pearl, a mermaid, becomes caretaker of a single grain of sand, she discovers that performing even the smallest task well can transform the world.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Caldecott Honor author-illustrator Molly Idle dazzles with an original mermaid tale about how small, persistent actions can achieve great things. Sometimes the tiniest light can shine the brightest! Like the other mermaids of the deep, Pearl longs to care for the endless beaches, coral reefs, and towering kelp forests of her vast ocean world. So when her mother asks her to tend to a mere grain of sand, Pearl is heartbroken. It takes all her patience and determination to discover how even the littlest mermaid can transform the world. Caldecott Honor-winning author and artist Molly Idle has masterfully crafted a modern classic in this mesmerizing tale about the immense power of small actions.