Emily's Big Discovery (The World of Emily Windsnap #1)

by Liz Kessler (Author) Joanie Stone (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Introducing an exciting new line of readers that brings half-mermaid Emily Windsnap--star of the New York Times best-selling series--to a younger audience.

Even though she lives in a houseboat, Emily Windsnap doesn't know how to swim. Her mother has always cautioned her to stay out of the water. But it's hard to make friends at the beach when everyone else is having fun in the waves! So when swimming lessons start at school, Emily is excited to finally have the chance to learn. Standing beside the pool, she feels the water calling her, but when she jumps in, she gets a strange, kind of scary sensation . . . like her legs are stuck together. Eager to figure out what's happening, Emily later dives into the sea. She gets that weird feeling again, but this time she looks down to see that her legs are gone--replaced by a shiny, beautiful tail! Welcome to Emily's Big Discovery, the first in a sparkling, charmingly illustrated series of readers. 

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This gentle, pleasant episodic story will please kids with lively imaginations. . . a perfect bedtime or partner read for little ones learning to tackle short chapter books on their own.

School Library Journal

Gr 1-3--Young Emily Windsnap's life is full of irony, risk taking, and self-discovery. She and her overprotective mother live near the ocean in a houseboat, but Emily, who is white, has never learned to swim. When her school offers swimming classes she readily participates, thinking that if she could learn how to swim in the safety of an indoor pool her mother may be more supportive of her venturing into the ocean. During Emily's first swimming lesson she experiences the sensation of her legs locking together. That night she sneaks out to swim in the ocean and discovers she is a mermaid! While honing her new skills, she encounters a mermaid named Shona, and the two quickly become friends. The first book of Kessler's original "Emily Windsnap" series is intended for middle school students, with Emily turning 13. This new title in the series depicts Emily at a much younger age, which creates a completely different time line; this sequence could become confusing to readers who choose to follow Emily's adventures as their reading skills advance. This early chapter book contains a table of contents, five short chapters, and enchanting illustrations that tell the story on their own. VERDICT This title's popularity will likely be limited to fans of mermaid tales (no pun intended) and early readers who enjoy fairy-tales and fantasy.--Lynne Stover

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Liz Kessler
Liz Kessler is the author of twenty-three books for children and young adults. Her books range from Early Readers to books for Young Adults and include the internationally best-selling series about half-mermaid Emily Windsnap. She has an MA in Novel Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University and has been a full-time author for the last twenty years. Her new novel, When the World Was Ours, was inspired by her father's childhood escape from the Nazis just before the second world war. Liz lives with her wife and their dog in rural Cheshire.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication date
April 20, 2022
The World of Emily Windsnap
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV037000 - Juvenile Fiction | Fantasy & Magic
JUV044000 - Juvenile Fiction | Readers | Intermediate
JUV066000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mermaids
Library of Congress categories
Friendship in children
Windsnap, Emily

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