New Release & Review: The Mermaid by Jan Brett


Pages: 32

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date – September 5, 2017

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC



 A striking under-the-sea version of Goldilocks with bonus storytelling in the borders, as only Jan Brett could create. When Kiniro, a young mermaid, comes upon a gorgeous house made of seashells and coral, she is so curious that she goes inside. She’s thrilled to find a just-right breakfast, pretty little chair, and, best of all, a comfy bed that rocks in the current.   But when the Octopus family returns home, they are not happy to find that someone has been eating their food and breaking their things. Baby has the biggest shock when she finds the mermaid asleep in her bed! Luckily, shock turns to happiness when Kiniro gives her a thoughtful gift before escaping from the twenty-four arms coming her way.   Vibrant, intricate scenes of an underwater paradise transport this classic fairy tale to a magical setting inspired by the seas off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Along with fun details that enrich the storytelling in Jan Brett’s trademark borders, this visual treat will enchant readers of all ages.



By John W. Kurtze

Jan Brett creates a new twist to the traditional story of Goldilocks.  In THE MERMAID, Jan Brett skillfully illustrates an under the sea look at Goldilocks story.  The main character Kiniro is a mermaid swimming in the seas off the coast of Okinawa, Japan.  The illustrations depict ocean life from an octopus family and Mermaid’s point of view.  Kiniro travels with her friend and protector a puffy fish. While the octopus family gets ready to go for a swim before breakfast, the author describes mother octopus holding a new hat and insisting Baby octopus wear the hat.  As the octopus family leaves out the back of their house, Kiniro swims towards the front of the enchanting house of sea shells.

Brett takes her readers below to the ocean floor sharing interesting descriptions and colorful illustrations of scenery around the octopus family’s seashell and coral home.  The author follows the Goldilocks storylines converting the images of dishes to seashells filled with exotic sea foods.  Kiniro tastes all three and settles on Baby octopus’ breakfast.  The mermaid sits in all three chairs and settles into Baby’s chair flipping her fins breaking the chair.  Brett illustrates the visit to the family beds.

Mermaid, Kiniro falls sound asleep in Baby octopus’ bed.  When the octopus family comes home, Brett descriptions with supporting illustrations portray the actions and reactions of the octopus family returning how and finding Kiniro sleeping in Baby’s bed.   The author adds an unusual twist to her under the sea story with the help of puffy fish and the Kiniro’s observations.  THE MERMAID offers an exciting look at a classic fairy tale set in the enchanting sea off the coast of Japan.  Brett’s new book will hold the attention of readers of all ages.

Jan Brett  

With over forty million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation’s foremost author illustrators of children’s books.   Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up.   During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.     As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, “I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I’m drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real.”

    As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. “It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain,” she says. “I’m delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting.”          Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. “From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children’s books.”

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