Illustrated by Elizabeth Dulemba
Little Simon (June 25, 2019)
This board book began years ago as a poem in a collection called DRAGON NIGHT & OTHER LULLABIES. From there it became a song with music by Lui Collins, a wonderful folk singing friend of mine with who I’d written many songs both for children and adults. (We eventually started a band together with other friends I’d written for–when I was 76!!! And I am still part of it as I ride serenely–well I am making that part up–into my 80’s.)
But I was thinking about doing a series of board books under the title WATER BABIES and showed the manuscript of about seven of them to my friend and board book specialist Jeff Salane at Simon & Schuster. And he said that he felt MERBABY was a stand-alone board book and he adored Elizabeth’s art work–as do I– and so we spun that one off.
Now I have written two other MERBABY books which Jeff is considering. The thing about being a long-time professional author is that I know how to change with the publishing tides and ride the waves. Hahaha–a metaphor Merbaby would love and understand.
What reviewers have said:
- “Yolen’s gentle rhyming board book features a mother and child mermaid who explore, play, and sleep in their underwater world. In Dulemba’s light, chalky illustrations, the mermaids have dappled orange tails and blue hair—the mother mermaid’s long and flowy, and the child’s short and curly. Yolen’s verse speaks to the mermaid child: “Sleep, wave maker,/ Close your eyes and dream,/ tide breaker.” The two swim among colorful fish, stingrays, whales, and a friendly otter, until the mother tucks the merbaby amid corals and kelps: “Hush, deep diver,/ shush, shell keeper,/ Be your finny/ mother’s sleeper.” A loving cradlesong for merbabies everywhere.” —Publishers Weekly