Corey, S., & Fotheringham, E. (ill.) (2009). Mermaid Queen: the spectacular true story of Annette Kellerman, who swam her way to fame, fortune, & swimsuit history!. Location: Publisher. ISBN: 9780439698351
Annotation: Annette Kellerman was one of the early female athletes, learning to swim at a young age to help strengthen her legs. She swam in exhibitions all over the world and pioneered modern women’s swimwear.
Reaction: I sought out this book because I loved all the other books illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. It was just an added bonus that this one also happened to be about a sassy lady who challenged society’s expectations for women. I had also really enjoyed Here Come the Girl Scouts! by Shana Corey, who seems to have a penchant for writing about strong, real life heroines to whom young readers can look up. This is a Good Thing.
I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but it’s so important for girls to have good role models. Adults need to be aware of putting materials in front of kids that feature women being strong, smart and capable, doing things that just Weren’t Done to encourage Kids Today to keep reaching for better and more.
Kellerman found something she loved doing and spent her life traveling the globe trying to make people understand her passion. She encouraged the use of swimming to provide women with exercise to better their health, and when the heavy, bulky women’s swimsuits got in the way, she designed a new suit to make swimming easier and more comfortable, while also preserving a woman’s modesty.
I love Fotheringham’s art in this. He uses lots of bright, bold colors in his backgrounds and employs lots of water inspired imagery to create the feeling of fluidity in his illustrations. His art is playful and fun and he captures the essence of Kellerman’s spirit.
Media Used: Digital Media