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MERMAID QUEEN by Shana Corey Kirkus Star

MERMAID QUEEN

The Spectacular True Story of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way to Fame, Fortune, & Swimsuit History

By Shana Corey (Author) , Edwin Fotheringham (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-439-69835-1
Publisher: Scholastic

Little has been written about Annette Kellerman, the founder of water ballet and modernizer of the female swimsuit; Corey’s lively descriptions and powerful phrasing successfully fill this niche. Despite the societal restraints placed on women in the early 1900s, Kellerman became an accomplished Australian athlete and attempted to swim the English Channel. Combining athletic feats with artistic symmetry, she promoted her sport to girls abroad. She eventually revolutionized contemporary swimwear, though she faced criticism and even arrest for wearing her swimsuit, viewed as too risqué for American tastes. Text and art blend in their celebration of this spirited athlete. Typography varies to enhance emphasis: “Annette Kellerman loved to make waves [this last in swoopy script],” and dramatic quotations pepper the dynamic text. Digitally rendered art depicts Kellerman as a strong but feminine competitor; dark outlines display her graceful arms outstretched to greet her audience. Fotheringham’s bold, spiraling patterns resemble crashing water; both fiery and cool colors pay homage to this vibrant woman and her sport. (author’s, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 5-9)