A Mermaid Girl

by Sana Rafi (Author) Olivia Aserr (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

A young girl celebrates the experience of wearing a burkini for the first time in this lyrical and heartwarming picture book that casts a fresh light on timeless summer activities, and celebrates cultural traditions and intergenerational bonds.

Summer is here and Heba is so excited to wear her new, yellow burkini to the community pool for the first time! She can't wait to look like the other mermaid girls in her family and sparkle like the sun. But when Heba arrives at the pool and her friends start asking her questions about her new special swimsuit, she feels like she's standing out too much. Suddenly her burkini seems like a bad idea. Luckily Mama helps Heba to find strength in the mermaid girls who came before her. Feeling more connected to the women of her family, Heba is ready to show her friends that she can do all the same things that they can do--handstands, summersaults, and dives off the diving board--even while wearing her yellow burkini.

Find books about:

Sana Rafi
Sana Rafi is a Muslim American author who received her MFA from Columbia University in New York. She's passionate about showcasing Muslim and immigrant characters in her books. When she's not writing, she can be found reading, visiting beaches or being silly with her son. Rafi currently resides in sunny California but is often found daydreaming of her hometown, Lahore, Pakistan. Find out more at www.sanarafi.com.

Olivia Aserr is a visual development artist and illustrator living in Los Angeles. She currently does background paint at Cartoon Network and writes and illustrates children's books. She developed her skills at both Art Center School of Design and Rhode Island School of Design (earning her BFA from the latter in 2014). Olivia is passionate about telling stories that are fantastical and diverse. In her free time, Olivia swing dances all over Los Angeles and the rest of the world, and loves to bake and hike with her dog, Bonnibel.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication date
June 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV014000 - Juvenile Fiction | Girls & Women
JUV032060 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Water Sports
JUV033270 - Juvenile Fiction | Religious | Muslim
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Swimming pools
Bathing suits

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!