Our book of the week is this absolute beauty from Candy Gourlay and Francesca Chessa.

In ‘Is it a Mermaid?’, a creature that looks like a Dugong tells Benji and Bel that she is, in fact, a mermaid. Bel is accepting and supportive, Benji wants to point out all the things that prove she is a Dugong. This stops him having fun with her and getting to know her better, and results in a very sad Mermaid. Why is it so important to Benji that this creature admits or agrees that she is a Dugong? Why is being ‘right’ about someone else’s identity Benji’s main focus?

Children’s books have lessons for everyone. It’s really important to seek out diversity in characters and subject matter in books so that children meet people/mermaids who gently challenge their understanding.

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