Ramblings from the mind of a writer of nonfiction for children.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Welcome to Telling Kids the Truth. I am delighted to be hosting Nonfiction Monday, so, if you'd like to join in, please leave your name, your link, and a description of your post in the comment section below. I'll add links throughout the day, so check back later for a full list.
I will start us off with a review of MERMAID QUEEN written by Shana Corey and illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. It is a 2009 title from Scholastic, but it is a recent addition to the children’s biography section at the Middleport Free Library, so I snapped it up.
In this book, I found a lovely colorful biography of an equally colorful woman named Annette Kellerman who swam to fame in the early 1900s. I love stories of women and men who changed history even for a moment. Most of their names fade into the fabric of life, but every once in a while a writer like Shana Corey recognizes the bravery and boldness of the story and polishes it until it shines.
Mermaid Queen shines as it tells the story of a feeble girl who grew up in an Australian household filled with music and dance. To make her legs stronger, Kellerman learned to swim, not the most fashionable sport of the time. But she made it her life, creating the first water ballet. She traveled to England and America dazzling her audiences with high dives and underwater dances, and shocking them with her daring bare-legged bathing suits. Single-handedly, Kellerman altered swimwear fashion from heavy woolen pantaloons to sleeker swim-friendly bodysuits. She was also ahead of her time promoting a healthy diet of fruits and veggies and vigorous exercise for women. She would have fit right in with Jillian on Biggest Loser.
The text is spare yet lively and active, and the design of the pages swoop and swirl. Mermaid Queen can easily be an enjoyable read at bedtime, but can be so much more with the addition of Corey’s author’s notes that detail Kellerman’s struggles and successes. Another title to put on my list of books I wish I had thought of.
Rasco from RIF has written about Chris Barton's intriguing new book CAN I SEE YOUR I.D.? True Stories of False Identities. There is a P. S. with a message from Chris about autographed copies of the book. http://bit.ly/dYEKbn
Lynn Rutan and Cindy Dobrez said... At Bookends we are reviewing Albert Marrin's Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy. Thanks for hosting.
Lori Calabrese said... Mermaid Queen sounds like an interesting book! Thanks for sharing!
At Lori Calabrese Writes!, I review Start it Up: The Complete Teen Business Guide to Turning Your Passions into Pay
Anastasia Suen has Raggin' Jazzin' Rockin': A History of American Musical Instrument Makers by Susan VanHecke at Chapter Book of the Day http://wp.me/p1fHyF-4j and The Human Body: Lift the Flap and Learn by Pascale Hedelin (Author) and Robert Barborini (Illustrator) at Picture Book of the Day http://wp.me/pWySC-cm