Mermaid Queen: The Spectacular True Story Of Annette Kellerman, Who Swam Her Way To Fame, Fortune & Swimsuit History!

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Overview


A fun, feel-good, "underdog" story about a little-known female athlete whose derring-do transformed girls' sports.

Are you brave enough to make a wave? If you love sports and people who aren't afraid to swim against the tide, Annette Kellerman and her freestyle approach to life will make your heart swell.

With strokes of genius, Shana Corey and Edwin Fotheringham pool their talents to create a winning portrait of a little-known athlete, ...

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Overview


A fun, feel-good, "underdog" story about a little-known female athlete whose derring-do transformed girls' sports.

Are you brave enough to make a wave? If you love sports and people who aren't afraid to swim against the tide, Annette Kellerman and her freestyle approach to life will make your heart swell.

With strokes of genius, Shana Corey and Edwin Fotheringham pool their talents to create a winning portrait of a little-known athlete, performer, and fashion revolutionary who broke records (and rules!) and dazzled the world with her splashy pluck and courage.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Admirers of Corey (You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer!) and of Fotheringham (What to Do About Alice?) will be eager for this picture book biography of another early feminist, the swimmer Annette Kellerman (1886-1975). As a child in Australia, Kellerman had to wear leg braces for some unspecified illness; to strengthen her body, she swam-and grew up to become an endurance swimmer, to invent water ballet and introduce the modern bathing suit to horrified Americans and Europeans (swimming before an audience that included British royalty, Kellerman was made to cover up her bare legs). As in her previous books, Corey includes the details that both humanize Kellerman and make her a legend; for example, trying to cross the English Channel, the swimmer "slurps" soup or hot chocolate through a "long-snouted" cup and eats sandwiches proffered on the end of a long stick. The art is equally powerful: punchy graphics suggest a woman in perpetual motion, with bubble, dot and curve motifs to underscore the aquatic theme. The illustrations are almost too powerful: the high-contrast colors can be dizzying, and the art at times vies with the text for readers' attention. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Annette Kellerman loved to make waves." In her own way she helped free women everywhere. As a child in Australia in the late 19th century, she swam to strengthen her weak legs, until she was winning races and enjoying performing her own form of water ballet. In her story here, she and her father decide to take her water performance to England, but nobody there takes any notice, until she swims in the Thames and part of the way across the Channel. Called the Mermaid Queen, Annette performs before royalty, and then throughout Europe and America. There she is arrested for her abbreviated swimsuit. But she soon frees other women from their awkward, heavy suits. "And women and girls have been enjoying the water ever since." There is a verve in Fotheringham's visualization of Kellerman's story that matches the vibrant telling. From the bouncy young woman on the jacket surrounded by blue and orange wave-like patterns to the similar orange patterns on the front end pages, the flamboyant typography and actions, the book radiates excitement. Composed in digital media that encourage complex page designs and broadly expressive, even comic characterizations, this mini-biography emphasizes the upbeat personality of its star. There are extensive added notes on Kellerman and the period. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

Gr 2-5

Kellerman's name might not be familiar, but this rule-breaking, high-diving, early fashionista will inspire students. Her difficulties walking as a child, which are only hinted at in the book's illustrations, drove her father to try to strengthen her legs through swimming lessons. In the early 1900s, before women were allowed to compete in the Olympics, her hard-earned athleticism drew more criticism than compliments. Swimming? Unladylike! Record setting? For the boys! Eager to do something more artistic with her abilities, Annette invented water ballet, and her acrobatic feats drew crowds. Each event described is interesting, but what really shines is Kellerman's persistent refusal to rest on her laurels. After her attempt to be the first woman to swim the English Channel, and performing for kings and queens, she went on to pioneer the modern woman's bathing suit, which led to her arrest in the U.S. Fotheringham's glorious artwork is filled with period details and dress, high-dives and stunts, and priceless expressions on the faces of amazed audiences. The extensive back matter details Kellerman's further accomplishments and includes citations. This well-written and brightly illustrated account is a perfect pearl.-Sarah Provence, Churchill Road Elementary School, McLean, VA

Kirkus Reviews
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 risque 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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439698351
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Series: Mermaid Queen
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 602,217
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 12.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Shana Corey has the unique ability to make history accessible and fun, a talent that has been praised in all of her celebrated picture books, including MERMAID QUEEN, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham and YOU FORGOT YOUR SKIRT, AMELIA BLOOMER!, illustrated by Chesley McLaren, which was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and an Orbis Pictus Recommended Title. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Edwin Fotheringham has illustrated several notable picture books, including Barbara Kerley's WHAT TO DO ABOUT ALICE?, a Sibert Honor Book and a Boston Globe/Horn Book Award Honor Book, and THE EXTRAORDINARY MARK TWAIN (ACCORDING TO SUSY), a New York Public Library Best Children's Book. Edwin lives in Seattle, Washington. You can visit him online at www.edfotheringham.com.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 19, 2013

    Beautiful graphics, easy to understand vocabulary, and best of a

    Beautiful graphics, easy to understand vocabulary, and best of all, unbelievable facts!

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