Pearl (Molly Idle)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Pearl by Molly Idle, a fable of mermaids and the importance of little things.

Beneath the ocean’s gentle waves, mermaids – the guardians of the deep – work to protect the sea’s most precious things. Some tend the forests of kelp, some keep their eye on the colorful coral reefs, and some protect the giant, majestic creatures. One little mermaid, Pearl, longs to do her part. She informs her mother that she is ready, and after a moment’s consideration, her mother agrees. Taking Pearl up to a sparkling shoreline, she assigns the young mermaid her task: protecting a single grain of sand. Pearl is heartbroken, seeing her mother’s instruction as a cruel joke, and sinks down to the bottom of the ocean in despair. Squeezing the grain of sand in anger, she is surprised to see it begin to glow. Gently holding it once more, she begins to see the little grain become larger, smoother, and luminescent. Pearl commits herself to her task, and with a bit of patience and dedication, she will find that even the smallest grain of sand has the potential for greatness.

Fabulous. This is the rare children’s story that is simple enough to be enjoyed by a reader of any age, yet so layered and complex that multiple lessons and meanings can be taken from it. A reflection on the environment, or how no effort is too small, or how every great thing began as something little, or the gift of nurturing care – this lovely little fable is all of the above and more. Idle’s muted oceanic color palette is as soothing as it is gorgeous, and her incredible animation-style art is a thing of beauty. The length is fine for all ages, and JJ was memorized by Pearl’s undersea adventure. A treasure, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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