Saturday, May 27, 2023

Today's read... The Mermaid With No Tail by Jessica Long

Today's read comes from an author, who has been quite successful in several areas. Not only is this book from her coming out around the end of September, but she also is a 29 Paralympic Medal holder. So to say that I was curious to take a peek at this read is an understatement. Plus, I've always had a soft-spot for oceans and sea life...yes, that can include mermaids.

by Jessica Long
Illustrated by Airin O'Callaghan
Sounds True 
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

SEPTEMBER  26th!!!

Dive into this illustrated picture book, where a mermaid with no tail decides she wants to compete in the Mermaid Games. The other mermaids make fun of her for being different. But her adoptive turtle parents are supportive and encouraging, and her shark coach Phelpsy teaches her to swim using her arms. The mermaid trains hard, maintains a good attitude, and eventually wins the games.
Inspired by the life of Paralympic champion swimmer Jessica Long, The Mermaid with No Tail celebrates the importance of dreaming big and the power of being different.



Beautiful, underwater illustrations meet heart and determination in all the right ways.

The little mermaid lost her tail fins shortly after birth, which wouldn't be bad if the other mermaids wouldn't tease her constantly. Worse, yet, she'll never be able to take part in the Mermaid Games...or can she? When she decides it's time to give it a try, she seeks out the help of the strongest swimmer in the ocean, a shark, who just might be able to help her out.

The lovely illustrations are already enough to make this book worth a peek. The ocean scenes are inviting and create the perfect backdrop for a cute mermaid. The fish swirl as this little mermaid comes to life, her personality shining on each page. Readers/listeners will enjoy flipping through this one on their own and taking a peek at each scene again and again.

While the first pages do start with a bullying theme, this tale is all about determination. The little mermaid doesn't really let the other mermaids get to her but gives a satisfied and friendly impression. It's wonderful to see how she takes fate into her own hands and puts in the effort to achieve her goals. This doesn't come easily but takes time and hard work. Listeners/readers will have no problem cheering for her until the very end.

The text is a little long for the youngest readers out there, but it works very well for a read-aloud in a story time setting or as a read to cuddle up with. Readers, who have a pretty good grip on their words, will be able to hit this one on their own.

Obviously, this read also is a great way to lead into a discussion or theme surrounding the Paralympics, which also makes it great for classrooms and homeschoolers. 

And here they are...

Jessica Long is an American Paralympic swimmer. She has won 29 Paralympic Medals, making her one of the most decorated athletes of all time. Jessica is a speaker, author, advocate, and sports personality. Learn more at

Airin O’Callaghan is an illustrator and artist. She received a bachelor’s degree and MFA in fine art in Amsterdam, and an MFA in illustration in San Francisco. Airin lives in Berkeley, California. Learn more at 

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