Mermaid fairy Lily copes with the difficulties of being a water-based creature with land-based friends.
and -skinned mermaid Lily must rely on her friends to visit her, as her
inability to remain out of water for long results in her cutting short her
visits to them (especially when, as in the case of Indigo’s treetop workshop,
travel time eats into her outside-of-water time). Lily’s bummed out when
distractions and changes of plans result in her friends’ skipping visits with
her, and she feels left out when they explore areas she finds inaccessible.
Lily doesn’t expect her friends to understand her accessibility difficulties and
so doesn’t complain—but without her realizing it, they’ve noticed that she’s
down and reasoned why. As a surprise for her, they examine how they can make
their forest more inclusive of her physical needs, devising an elevator and
slide system to give Lily fast, easy transportation and to accommodate her
physical limitations. Lily’s friends decide to do this, without prompting or
her asking, both to make Lily happy and because they enjoy her company,
effectively modeling empathy and inclusiveness without didacticism. Contextual
nuance to the disability parallel is provided in the joy Lily experiences in the
water as well as in the apologies her friends provide in response to her
feelings of neglect. Information about water lilies and a craft join the dramatis personae and assorted games in the backmatter—a series feature.
A delightful story about thoughtful, compassionate friendship. (Fantasy. 6-8)