Julián is a Mermaid  is Jessica Love's award-winning debut picture book, published by Candlewick Press.  Julián is a Mermaid is a story about a boy and his Abuela. It is a story about revealing ourselves, and the beauty of being seen for who we are by someone who loves us. The editor is Katie Cunningham, and the Art Director is Ann Stott. Hardcover, illustrated in gouache on brown paper. Julián is a Mermaid has been translated into fourteen languages: Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Chinese, Danish, German, Spanish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, French, Japanese, Dutch & Korean.

Copyright © 2018 by Jessica Love. Published by Candlewick Press.  

Jessica is represented by Meredith Kaffel Simonoff, at DeFiore and Company. 

Press for Julián is a Mermaid

The New York Times 

(editor's pick)

This is Jessica Love’s debut picture book, and every choice she makes — the spare text, a color palette both muted and lively, full-bleed pages that make even subway cars and apartment rooms feel as expansive as the ocean

Betsy Bird

There is nothing about this book that is forgettable. In fact, you may have a hard time not thinking long and hard about it after you put it down. 

Publisher's Weekly 

(starred review)

Love’s deep empathy for her characters and her keen-eyed observations of urban life come together in a story of love, understanding, and embracing the mermaid within us all.

Kirkus Reviews

(starred review)

Though it could easily feel preachy, this charmingly subversive tale instead offers a simple yet powerful story of the importance of being seen and affirmed.

The Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books

(starred review)

Love does a particularly fine job with the face of Abuela, a reticent woman whose years have left her with Resting Skeptical Face that changes almost imperceptibly when she blesses her grandson’s dreams...

Horn Books Reviews

(starred review)

Julián’s emotional journey takes on depth through the small but important details: a wary look in the mirror, a slight inward slump of the shoulders, a chin held high while marching down the street. Love uses vibrant watercolors with gouache and ink and a lively style to create scenes that splash and swirl to life on the page.

The Gothamist

"This beautiful book is one of the very few picture books about a gender non-conforming child. Yet it feels like a celebration of all children who want to do things differently than the parental figures in their lives—and a love letter to the grownups who deeply understand them."

A Cup of Jo

Recently, the boys have been really into a new-to-us book: Julián Is a Mermaid, the story of a little boy who wants to dress up like a sparkly mermaid. The illustrations couldn’t be more beautiful, and I love how Julián’s grandmother accepts him for exactly who he is. 

The Children's Book Podcast

Hosted by Matthew Winner, elementary school librarian and co-founder of All The Wonders. The Children's Book Podcast features insightful and sincere interviews with authors, illustrators, and everyone involved in taking a book from drawing board to bookshelf.



 All inquiries regarding publication should be directed to 

Meredith Kaffel Simonoff, at DeFiore and Company.

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