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Mermaids on Parade Hardcover – May 29, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—The Mermaid Parade, a summer solstice ritual to open the beach season at Coney Island, started in 1983 as the revival of an older festival. Greenberg paints detailed—and accurate—layouts of the neighborhood, complete with shops, arcades, the F train to Coney Island, Astroland, and diverse people decked out in their sea-creature finery. She lavishes each joyful spread with upbeat colors and patterns. Skies echo the changing blue tints of the ocean. The minimal story line—a young girl narrates as she marches in the parade with her parents—functions like a tour guide, calling attention to the sights. The wealth of detail turns the pages into a Where's Waldo game: adults and children might challenge each other to locate the three main characters in an amusement-park panorama, or to count the number of pirates dancing on the Boardwalk. This is a fine way to keep the warm sun, sand, and celebration around all year.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
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From Booklist

A young girl is excited to march in the Coney Island annual Mermaid Parade, which marks the official summer opening of the beaches. As the parade moves toward the sea for the opening ceremony, crowds cheer the fancifully dressed participants, and the girl grows more excited, until the final surprise comes: she wins the award for “Best Little Mermaid.” The descriptive first-person narrative is somewhat overlong, but it captures the girl’s anticipation and enjoyment, and vividly conveys the scene, from the “shiny costumes that sparkle and glitter” to the dancing East River Mermaids and the feel of the warm sun. Exuberant, cartoon-style gouache illustrations fill pages with a festive riot of colorful, diverse participants and activities, while a map view follows the parade’s route. Though place- and event-specific, this title offers an affectionate, upbeat depiction of costume fun, parades, and community celebrations. A final page includes a how-to for making a simple mermaid tail, and a note on Mermaid Parade history. Grades K-2. --Shelle Rosenfeld
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (May 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399247084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399247088
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #465,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAME on May 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
New York City has changed a lot in the past 30 years. Used to be a grittier, seedier town. Graffiti and wild parties. Love and violence. And when New York had a parade it was an adults only affair. Today that seediness has receded, leaving everything a little more family friendly. You walk in Times Square and sex shops don't appear to the eye. You can attend the Greenwich Village Halloween parade without worrying about excessive nudity. Really, one of the few parades left in the city that successfully melds that old-time wildness with the newfangled kid-friendly vibe is Coney Island's annual Mermaid Parade. Topless women and babies, that's what you'll see these days. It seems an odd parade to celebrate in the format of a picture book, but Mermaid Parade attendee and illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg is up to the challenge. With her bold colors and sense of pizzazz, Greenberg brings to life an event that continues to enthrall both children and adults alike with a love of fun, costumes, and general unavoidable weirdness.

A young girl puts on a mermaid costume, but not just for the fun of playing dress-up. The summer solstice is nigh and it's time for the yearly Mermaid Parade at Coney Island. This year the girl will be participating with her mom and dad and they've come up with the perfect outfit to wow the judges. Joining them are crowds of other participants and everyone gets a number. Then, as people dressed as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid lead on, everyone marches down the boardwalk and around the streets for all the happy onlookers. The route ends at the sandy shore, but that's not all there is to it. The Costume Judges look everyone over carefully and by the end of the day the girl has won for "Best Little Mermaid.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I purchased this book, it was listed in good condition with minimal wear. After it arrived, I discovered that it's a former library book with lots of wear, the original library cover still attached and the whole book is a bit dirty. Fine for a former library book, but that should have been listed as the description.

The seller issued a refund, after reviewing this feedback. A nice customer service response! I would buy from this seller again, but not before contacting to learn the exact condition of items.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Miller on September 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Inspired by her childhood experiences, Melanie uses simple prose to tell the story of the Mermaid Parade, a special Coney Island celebration honoring the summer solstice. At its core, the story is about a girl who "comes out of her shell." But coupled with the illustrations, the story becomes so much more.

To illustrate her story, Melanie uses gouache, pen and pencil. Her attention to detail is exquisitely profound. Her simple characterizations remind me of the familiar folk tradition, that is, a form that offers an artistic window into a tradition and elevates it to an inspired commemoration. Each character is a distinct personality. Her colors are bright and bold. The costumes sparkle right off the page. Surely you can hear the music playing! Can't you just smell those Coney Island hotdogs!

Other elements of the Coney Island festival jump off the page: the colorful buildings. Astroland the roller coaster. Dancing on the boardwalk. The map that shows the parade route fits right in.

As a special treat, Melanie gives directions on how to create your own mermaid tail. The author's note offers the history of parade. This book makes a wonderful edition for any library, both a child's library and your local library!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Psyche on February 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
What could be better than a book about a mermaid? A book about loads of mermaids in a parade. And not just mermaids, but other sea creatures and spirits, including the King and Queen of the Sea who "open" the ocean for the summer. How wonderful! Melanie Hope Greenberg has an easy, folksy way of writing that manages to catch people like me who have never visited Coney Island up in the excitement of the Mermaid Parade.

The artwork for Mermaids on Parade is similarly folksy, colorful and accessible. It was fun to find the little girl and her parents on each page and to follow their progress through the streets. It was also fun to spot the grown-up author/illustrator on one of the pages and to search for the peace dove.
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