Have you noticed a particular blog tour goin’ on this week? Author-illustrator Ben Hatke (I wrote here about and then followed up with art here from his newest picture book, Julia’s House for Lost Creatures) is makin’ the rounds and talking about his bestiary of lost creatures. This is the kind of art-filled blog tour I can get behind. If you want to see all his creatures from this week, they’re listed at this link.
Today, I’m hosting the mermaid.
Here’s Ben …
Ben: Mermaids: Rarely seen, the most likely evidence of a nearby mermaid is a sad, lilting song heard among the waves in rocky harbors. Mermaids tend toward solitude, moonlit nights, and rainy days. Of all the creatures that show up at Julia’s crowded doorstep, the mermaid is perhaps the most unlikely (credit richter). Mermaids do drag unwitting sailors into the cold depths of the sea, but not nearly so often as you might think.
Mermaids make fairly peaceable houseguests; they are quiet, and if you enjoy their melancholy melodies they can be quite easy to live with. They are very hard on plumbing, though, shedding scales and seaweed-like hair into the drains, and in a domestic situation they require a lot of water. Expect your water bill to triple (at least) and make sure you are on friendly terms with your local plumber.
My very favorite mermaid story of all is called The Animal Family. It’s a beautiful book by Randall Jarrell and masterfully illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Not only is The Animal Family my favorite mermaid story, but it’s one of my all-time favorite books.
All images here (with the exception of the book cover) used by permission of Ben Hatke.