Donna Jo Napoli is one of my favorite authors, and when I read she was doing a graphic novel, I grabbed it first chance I got~
Fish Girl is the main attraction at the local aquarium. For a small fee, you can get in and try to spot her. You can even get a t-shirt with her face on it. But what most people don’t know is that she’s real. She really does live in the aquarium, and she really does have a tail! Up until now, Fish Girl has been content in the aquarium with her friend Octopus and Neptune – the human who takes care of her. But she’s met another girl, named Livia, who has seen all of her and isn’t repulsed. They become friends, and Fish Girl starts wondering… what is life like on land? Can she be a normal girl?
This is definitely a middle-grade graphic novel, but that doesn’t stop it from being magical. You root for Fish Girl as she finds her land legs, discovers the truth about herself, and most of all, learns to make friends with Livia. The panels are laid out so it’s very clear to younger readers which box to read next. The illustrations are beautiful: delicate and expressive, yet firmly grounded in reality. It feels like you could find this aquarium on any boardwalk on any coast town. It was wonderful ❤
Wiesner, David, and Donna Jo Napoli. Fish Girl. 2017.