by Brigette Barrager (Author)
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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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 GoreckeCopyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.