The Mermaid and the Shoe

K. G. Campbell
K. G. Campbell

In this delightful picture book, Minnow seems to be the only one of King Neptune's fifty mermaid daughters who has no particular skill or accomplishments. That is, except for her persistence in asking many, many questions. “Why don't crabs have fins?” “Where do bubbles go?” “What lies beyond the kingdom?” But one day, as Minnow is drifting in the ocean all alone, a single red woman's shoe, “the loveliest thing she'd ever seen,” floats toward her seemingly from out of nowhere. Never having seen a shoe before, Willow becomes intrigued by what it might be. When no one in the kingdom can tell her, she sets off on a quest to find out and, along the way, uncovers answers to many of the things that have been vexing her, including what her true purpose is!

Award-winning author and illustrator K. G. Campbell beautifully captures the watery world of his mermaids with soft blues and grays, long hair rippling in the currents and lots of bubbles. Young readers will chuckle knowingly at Minnow's misinterpretations of the world “at the edge of the kingdom, where bubbles burst and the above place began,” as they delight in her discovery of what the shoe is used for. With the feel of a fairy tale, this is a fun and humorous story with a wonderful message appropriate for character education lessons about the value of believing in yourself and the power of perseverance when you are searching for answers to life's most important questions.

978-1-55453-771-6 | Apr 1, 2014
List Price: USD $16.95, CAD $18.95
4-color 9 x 11 32 pages
Grades: PreSchool To 2 / Ages: 3 to 7
978-1-77138-180-2 | Apr 1, 2014
List Price: USD $5.99, CAD $5.99

Educational Resources

Awards & Reviews

“... the artwork is also full of subtle humor --- Campbell definitively answers the question of what a shrugging octopus looks like --- and the story solidly delivers its message about the value of inquisitiveness, adventurousness, and storytelling.”
— Publishers Weekly, February 2014
“Although this luminous tale of self-discovery has echoes of “The Little Mermaid,” like Minnow, it sings its own strong song.”
— Kirkus Reviews - Starred Review, February 2014
“With a clever storyline and enchanting pictures, this is an elegant choice for 4- to 9-year-olds who want a break from dinosaurs.”
— The Wall Street Journal, March 2014
“Campbell's illustrations, of shadowy blue undersea scenes lightened by pale drifting hair and waving strands of kelp, have an attractive, old-fashioned style that harks back to classic picture books of the early 20th century ... Campbell's sense of visual humor and Minnow's prince-free happy ending suit 2014 beautifully.”
— The New York Times, April 2014
“This book is suitable for independent reading as well as a read-aloud. Minnow's tale will remind readers that it is okay to ask questions and seek answers, to stand out and be unique.”
— School Library Journal, April 2014
“Delicately illustrated by the author in watercolours and pencil crayon.”
— The Montreal Gazette, May 2014
“This fairy tale-like story is delightfully told with gentle humour, featuring an unlikely heroine, whose journey to discover a special role in her life will make a great read-aloud ... I could see The Mermaid and the Shoe being successfully used as a vehicle in the classroom or home setting to reaffirm the power of perseverance, the importance of inquisitiveness and to remind children that there is value is believing in yourself.”
— CM Magazine, May 2014
“The watercolor and pencil-crayon illustrations ... have a similar sense of motion and playfulness. And the visual differences between the flow-y haired, teeny-weeny-seashell-bikini-clad mermaids and the Raggedy Ann-esque landmaid point to the subjectivity of storytelling (and also of beauty).”
— The Horn Book Magazine, July 2014
“The writing and illustrations somehow manage to convey both an old-fashioned fairy-tale quality and a contemporary edge. Our favorite book of the year (and maybe for years to come).”
— The Globe and Mail, November 2014
2014 - Best Children's Books of 2014, Kirkus Reviews, Winner
2014 - The Globe 100: The Best Books of 2014, The Globe and Mail, Winner
2014 - 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2014, New York Public Library, Winner
2014 - Top 2014 Mighty Girl Books For Younger Readers, A Mighty Girl, Winner

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