Harmony & Echo: The Mermaid Ballet

by Brigette Barrager (Author)

Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

In a magical underwater world, a mermaid learns to overcome shyness and stage fright as she prepares for the Mermaid Ballet. A picture book that dazzles readers with the debut of two irresistible mermaids--Harmony and Echo--from the co-creator of the bestselling Uni the Unicorn!

Harmony is chill. She is carefree and fun and loves to stop and smell the sea flowers. Echo is a worrier. She can always find something to fuss about. As her best friend, Harmony is determined for Echo to enjoy their debut performance in the Mermaid Ballet. In a magical water world, the two mermaids practice their steps again and again. They dive through the water like seals, spin in circles like minnows, slither like eels, and more. But Echo is still worried that she'll forget everything as soon as she faces the audience.

So Harmony decides that they should share a secret hand squeeze, one that tells Echo You are fine, you are okay, I'm right next to you. At the crucial moment when Echo is about to stumble, will their plan work so she gets all the moves correct?

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Kirkus Reviews

Mermaid mavens will take to this pair like fish to water.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3--Harmony and Echo are best friends and mermaids who enjoy a variety of similar interests but are also markedly different. For instance, while Harmony is happy-go-lucky and relaxed, Echo is frequently a bundle of nerves. These anxious feelings are even more apparent the day of their ballet performance, when Echo shares her fears that she will forget the dance as soon as she swims on stage. Harmony consoles her friend, squeezing her hand as a reminder of her presence and support, as well as emphasizing their many hours of rehearsal and even offering to go through the dance together. When it's finally time to perform, Echo joins her best friend on stage and begins to dance without even having a chance to worry. They celebrate their successful recital with ice cream and a hand-squeeze promise to always be there for each other. Barrager's text reads smoothly and endearingly, making this an excellent choice for group sharing. The watercolor and digital illustrations capture a magical underwater world, brimming with life. Harmony and Echo both have brown skin, while the other mermaids in the dance company are diverse in skin tone. Pair with Molly Idle's Pearl, Kate Pugsley's Mermaid Dreams, or Kelly DiPucchio's books about Oona for even more mer-fun. VERDICT Barrager's sweet and supportive tale will charm and delight readers and is recommended for purchase.--Olivia Gorecke

Copyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Brigette Barrager
BRIGETTE BARRAGER is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of the Uni the Unicorn books and the author-illustrator of Vlad the Rad and Welcome, Flower Child, as well as the illustrator of numerous other picture books. She graduated from California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in character animation. She likes tea and books and hates when people's toes hang over the edges of their sandals. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their twin daughters, a dog, and a cat.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Random House Studio
Publication date
May 02, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Best friends
Stage fright
JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts / Dance
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Emotions &

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