by Lisa Mantchev (Author) David Litchfield (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

Journey meets Pearl in this transcendent picture book about a mermaid finding her forever home, created by the author of Strictly No Elephants, Lisa Mantchev, and The Bear and the Piano author-illustrator David Litchfield.

When a boy is out swimming and looking for fish, he meets a mermaid instead. She is all alone. He welcomes her to his home and his circus family. Though she misses the ocean, she feels she has found a new family and home. With lyrical text and luminous artwork, Remarkables is a story of friendship and finding home. What a remarkable place the world is.

"Breathtaking." --School Library Connection

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Publishers Weekly

In an enigmatic story, a boy snorkeling in the waters off a Coney Island-like amusement park has an unexpected encounter: "The world is a remarkable place, which means sometimes you go looking for a fish... and meet a mermaid instead," Mantchev writes pensively. In a sequence of wordless tableaus, the mermaid--nymphlike in Litchfield's enchanting art, with blue-green hair and a coppery tail--takes the boy to the ruins of her underwater home. On the surface, a circus is in full swing, full of revelers in long dresses and top hats. The mermaid and boy travel with the circus from city to city, the mermaid performing in small pools, then a glass aquarium. Readers may wonder at the mermaid's decision to give up the ocean for circus life, but the choice is clearly her own--as is her decision to eventually return home ("Sometimes we go looking for an adventure only to discover exactly where we belong"). Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.


The prismatic illustrations are the real draw of this book, and the mermaid’s agency in all her adventures lend it added sparkle.

Review quotes

Lisa Mantchev
Lisa Mantchev is the author of many picture books, including the internationally acclaimed Strictly No Elephants, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo; Remarkables, illustrated by David Litchfield; and Someday, Narwhal, illustrated by Hyewon Yum. Lisa lives on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. Learn more at

Samantha Cotterill has written and illustrated many popular books for children, including the Little Senses series. The Wall Street Journal praised her "fabulously fun artwork" in Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime! by Lisa Mantchev and called it an "exuberant picture book." She also illustrated Just Add Glitter by Angela DiTerlizzi, which The New York Times called "a sparkle of genius." Samantha lives with her family in upstate New York. Learn more at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date
September 20, 2019
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV013090 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Alternative Family
JUV031010 - Juvenile Fiction | Performing Arts | Circus
JUV066000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mermaids
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Family life
Belonging (Social psychology)
Belonging (Social psychology) in children

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