Camille loves the ocean—the warm sand, the pretty shells, and the sparkling waves that tickle her toes. Sometimes she even imagines that she’s a mermaid with whales and dolphins for friends. When the other WellieWishers see how much Camille misses her summers by the sea, they want to help. . . but how can four girls turn a garden into an ocean?
Camille’s friends plan the perfect surprise for Camille. Even though the readers know what Camille’s friends are hiding, they will still understand Camille’s feelings. “Camille was pretty sure the other WellieWishers were hiding something from her, which made her feel left out and lonely and sad.” Even though Camille is upset, she doesn’t get angry at her friends; instead, she spends her time writing mermaid stories.
Young readers will enjoy the story’s rhyming words and ocean-themed puns, such as when Aunt Miranda says, “Don’t worry, I’ll keep your secret. It’ll be easy: I’ll just clam up.” Another fun story element is when the girls sing songs. For example, Camille sings a song to the tune of “Yankee Doodle.” She sings, “Acrobats and rainy picnics, Boats with lots of doodles, Starry skies, and fireflies: We really used our noodles!”
The WellieWishers are introduced through pictures that appear on the first page. The diverse group of girls wears adorably bright clothes and wellie boots. All of the girls’ different personalities blend to make a wonderful friend group. Almost every page has a brightly colored illustration that helps the readers understand the plot. The girls’ facial expressions will also help the readers understand the girls’ emotions.
Young readers will want to grab Camille’s Mermaid Tale because of the adorably cute pictures and the high-interest topic; however, they will also be entertained by the story and learn important lessons about friendship. The book ends with a section “For Parents” that gives ideas of crafts that correspond with the book. Camille’s Mermaid Tale will encourage readers to use their imagination as it reinforces the idea that “you are never too big to imagine you’re a mermaid.” The Purrmaids Series by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen will also delight readers who love mermaids.
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