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Fish Girl Hardcover – March 7, 2017
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"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."
"A thought-provoking work that is not to be missed."
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Fish Girl is a contemporary setting with magical elements. It has a very fairy tale quality to it. For as long as she can remember “Fish Girl” (Mira) has lived and an aquarium. She’s the star attraction but she’s only supposed to let visitors catch a glimpse now and then. The only person who she has interaction with is “King Neptune” who she believes saved her. This is a very lonely existence. Also, a bit creepy! It’s clear that Neptune is not what or who he says he is. Through an accidental meeting with a girl her age, Mira eventually learns this as well.
It was interesting to see how Mira eventually gains strength and belief in herself. I liked how this change begins due to forming a friendship with someone her age. The girls meet rarely and in secret but it’s lovely to see their budding friendship grow. And it was important to see Mira take control of her life and freedom.
Overall an interesting read. The illustrations are gorgeous and complement the text well. I’ve seen others note that even though this is geared toward middle grade readers, it does show themes of abduction and abuse. This is something we see in fairy tales, but I think it’s important to know that going in.
Only David Wiesner could ground this tale in the here and now with this graceful art. It's his uncanny ability to capture the energy and flow of the story that will have young readers not only believing in mermaids, but make them confident that they could be living at the local beach. Fish Girl is a must read for any graphic novel or fairy tale fan and is an enthusiastic recommend.
I was super excited to hear that David Wiesner was making a graphic novel. He is one of my favorite illustrators. This did not disappoint. Wiesner's art is amazing as always. I can't imagine how long this took him to make! Napoli wrote a story that's a little bit of a Little Mermaid tale without any romantic elements. (It's also a little bit of a human slavery tale.) It draws you in slowly, you're not sure at first what to believe. And then you're cheering for a just ending. As a side note, I loved the girl's best friend octopus. It was a great unique choice of companion creature. A beautiful graphic novel great for fans of fantasy stories.
Notes on content: No language issues. No sexual content (the girl always has some strategic hair placement, other creatures around her, etc.). There's a natural disaster that causes some property damage, but no people get physically hurt.