Benji and Bel are on the beach when they spot a strange creature. It is a rare dugong; a sea cow! The dugong thinks they’re just being silly. She has a mermaids’ tail and sings a mermaids’ song. Can’t they see she’s a mermaid? The more she tries to prove her point, the more Benji insists she is a mermaid. This hurts her feelings, but it’s okay. Mermaids are very sensitive, but they are also very forgiving and soon the children and the dugong play happily together until it’s time for her to go back to sea. But there is one more surprise in store. Could the dugong be a mermaid after all?
Humorous and appealing, this picturebook embarks on a journey to the borderlands between imagination and reality, while simultaneously creating an awareness of kindness, perception and the environment. The warm, whimsical illustrations paint an animated world, abundant in texture, colour and difference. A tropical vision of island and sea unfolds and swells the further into the book you dive. The story is charming and filled with meaning as the children are gently exposed to ideas of self-identity and differing points of view. There is a heartfelt understanding and expression of the culture of children and the reader enters into their world and sees it through their eyes. But primarily, it is simply an enchanting and fanciful adventure that encourages the reader to look closer and be filled with wonder. Gentle and captivating, this is a book that will delight everyone.