Kenzie turns her fierce love for the ocean into action, resourcefully cleaning up the beach after her mermaid-tail swimsuit tangles in floating plastic bags.
When Kenzie slips on her mermaid tail, she becomes Mermaid Kenzie, protector of the deeps. One day as Kenzie snorkels around a shipwreck, she discovers more plastic bags than fish. Grabbing her spear and mermaid net, she begins to clean up the water and the shore--inspiring other kids to help.
Beautifully written in African American Vernacular English, this poetic picture book includes back matter with information about how plastic winds up in our oceans and examples of people--some of them kids, like Kenzie--who have worked to protect the sea. Mermaid Kenzie celebrates the ways that all of us, no matter how small, can make a difference.
About the Author
Charlotte Watson Sherman's debut picture book was Brown Sugar Babe. She grew up in Seattle and now lives near a marine sanctuary in Santa Barbara, California.
Geneva Bowers is a self-taught illustrator based in western North Carolina. She's illustrated the children's books BEYONCÉ: SHINE YOUR LIGHT and CURLS, among others. Geneva's work has won the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist and a 2018 BSFA Award nomination.
Illustrator site: genevab.com
"This is an uplifting story about a little Black girl who imagines that she is a mermaid and the ultimate protector of the deep. Poetic writing is accompanied by bright illustrations that are welcoming and reflect Kenzie’s sense of wonder. Children who have spent time at the beach will identify with many of Kenzie’s experiences, while teachers will appreciate the book’s STEM connections, perfect for lessons on recycling or Earth Day storytimes." —Booklist
"This inspiring picture book shows the positive impact even the youngest of us can make. The text, written in African American Vernacular English, teems with evocative, often lyrical descriptions of the marine setting. An understated yet unambiguous call to action for everyone to do their part to protect the oceans." —Kirkus Reviews
"Combining dialogue with songlike poetry, Sherman centers a young Black child named McKenzie who enjoys visiting the beach, donning a mermaid tail, and playing in the water with a seal buddy named Cocoa....Digital art by Bowers renders glossy, big-eyed characters of varying skin tones against vividly colored, thinly outlined backdrops, while poetic lines...lead to a feel-good ending with an inspiring message." —Publishers Weekly