Mermaid School

by Joanne Stewart Wetzel (Author) Julianna Swaney (Illustrator)

Mermaid School
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Starting school is always exciting... especially when you're a mermaid! From schools of fish to the A B Seas, this whimsical underwater tale puts a fun twist on what to expect on the first day of school.

It's Molly's first day at mermaid school, and there's so much to learn! Follow the mermaids as they count clamshells, recite the A B Seas, and make new friends. They even enjoy story time about children who walk on land! At the end of the day, it's time to sing the goodbye song and head home. 

With sweet, rhyming language and a peek into a fantastical undersea world, Mermaid School touches on all the major moments children will experience on their first day. And don't miss the mermaid school handbook in the back of this book for more mermaid fun!

Publishers Weekly

A mermaid's first day of school is strikingly similar to the one experienced by her human counterparts. Once the making-new-friends jitters dissipate, things go swimmingly: the narrator and her classmates bond with each other and their teachers, take ownership of their coral reef cubbies, learn math concepts with seashells, and sing their "A-B-Seas." They're also riveted at story time by a "fantasy" about "boys and girls who have no tails/And can't breathe undersea." The message in the soothing, sing-song rhymes by Wetzel (Playing Juliet) is evident: "When I arrive, there's no one here/ That I have met before./ But I can make new friends at school./ I'm always glad for more." Readers may be heartened by the little mermaids' independence (no parents appear) and their ability to quickly master a new environment. Unflappable, doll-like characters and sea-green-toned watercolors by Swaney (If You're Happy and You Know It!) lend the pages a dreamy, comforting feel. Ages 3-7. (July)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Joanne Stewart Wetzel
JoAnne Stewart Wetzel grew up as an Air Force brat. She became an expert on first days of school by going to nine different schools by fifth grade, and two countries before she finished high school. While she never went to an underwater school, she took synchronized swimming classes, competed on a synchronized swim team, and swam with the Naiads at Arizona State University. She is the author of two children's books on theater, Onstage/Backstage and Playing Juliet. Her first picture book, The Christmas Box, was named a Noteworthy Book for Children by the Bank Street College of Education. JoAnne lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her at

Julianna Swaney is an artist and illustrator living in Portland, Oregon. Visit her at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
July 20, 2018

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