May 15, 2012
The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids
The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids (CAN, JP, US, INT)
Written by: Ammi-Joan Paquette
Illustrated by: Marie LeTourneau
Published on: May 15, 2012
Published by: Tanglewood Press
Provided by the publisher for review through NetGalley
Beach season in Japan is short. I don't get this at all, I think if you are near a beach any day could be a beach day! (How can you tell I am from somewhere landlocked?) Now there are seasons where the jellyfish run rampant, and where we live there is ash to deal with as well, but the beach season is a little short (middle of July to end of August). Also, most people are on the beach from 10am to 4pm, which to someone as transparent as I, are the exact times I should not be anywhere near the sun! Consequently, we tend to go to the beach when no one else is there. During the daytime in May to June, and early in the morning during beach season.
It's so lovely to show up at a beach with no one else there, it feels like a new world you are exploring.
That's what this book does well, makes you feel like you are exploring a whole new world above, below, and around the sea.
This is written like nonfiction picture book, with emphasis on descriptive phrases and new vocabulary, like curling eddies, tide pool, and long craggy finger. Photos accompany the introduction of beach life, like sand dollars, Queen Anne's Lace, and abalone shells. Also, like my favourite nonfiction books, this has activities the reader can experience for himself, in this case sand mermaids (the summer equivalent of snow angels).
The pages are a mix of mermaid illustrations on photographs of beach scenes, ala Little Einsteins. Normally this is not my favourite style, but in this case it works to differentiate real from not real in the nonfiction style.
This spurred my kids and I to have a chat about how descriptive the words for many beach items are. Look at sand dollar- the English word dredges up a very cool image, but the Japanese (tako no makura, タコのマクラ) is even more imaginative (it means octopus pillow). I wonder why?
This is a fun book with adorable mermaids as your guide to the wonders of the beach! It makes me excited for the weekend so we can explore our own beaches, armed with the right vocab and a mission (finding Japanese mermaids!).