Mermaid Dance (Matthew Van Fleet)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Mermaid Dance, written by Matthew Van Fleet and illustrated by Mara Van Fleet, an absolutely delightful interactive board book that will get little merfolk tails a-flappin’.

The merkids have all gotten an invitation to a big dance party, but there’s just one problem: none of them know how to dance! One mermaid mentions this to her little fishy pal, who has the answer. He introduces her and the other merkids to his own sea-dwelling pals, each with their own unique dance move – the seahorse swish, the narwhal nod, the polar bear twist, and so on. In no time at all, the merkids are ready to dance the night away with all their underwater pals.

An entertaining, interactive delight. This hefty little volume is full of fantastic design, engaging text and illustrations, and wonderful interactive elements. Each “dance” is exhibited through sturdy pull tabs that activate movement behind plastic-covered cutouts, protecting each moving element from rough treatment by young readers (the exception being the final page, which is a traditional glued-in pop-up spread). All of the dances are also easily-imitated, and with the bouncy text to provide rhythm, allows for little bookworms to move and shimmy along with the characters. The diversity of the “merkids” – who present with different genders, pronouns, skintones, and hair types – promotes inclusion, making this a perfect title for educators to share with groups and classes. The length is perfect for a storytime, and JJ had an absolute blast making the characters move and trying the dances out herself. Simply put, this one is tons of fun, and we highly recommend it. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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