Tag: Mermaids

Picture Book About a Trans-Child Wins A Major Award!

Today’s world can often seem extremely anti-LGBTQ, with society feeling oppressive toward people who fall outside the line of heterosexually. But there is still a lot of good news, especially with the recent news about the book called Julian Is a Mermaid.  

 

 

The book is a children’s picture book that tells the story of a young boy called Julian who comes to terms with his queer identity, showcasing his attempts at dressing in woman’s clothing and how his nana reacts to his attempts to embrace his new identity. The author and illustrator Jessica Love, who was partly inspired by a trans friend, never expected it to be published. After all, many U.K. and U.S. imprints are yanking books off shelves who have gay or trans protagonists, with children’s work a big victim of this unfortunate practice.

 

Image via Amazon

 

On Sept 11, Jessica Love was proven wrong when her book won the much coveted Klaus Flugge prize. The prize goes to the most exciting newcomer in children’s book illustration and on Wednesday night, Jessica Love took it home. The judges called the book ‘astonishingly beautiful’ and were further quote as saying:

‘Julian Is a Mermaid reminds us that picture books can make us understand the world differently and better; that they are for everyone. It is a groundbreaking book.’

Love went onto note that the recaption had been mostly positive but there was some hostility toward her work for supposedly spreading the ‘gay agenda.’ She noted Julian is a Mermaid was drawn from her own personal life, with Julian’s nana based off her own queer role modes, her aunt and her aunt’s wife. She wanted a book that could provide the support she received to millions around the world.

 

Jessica Love

Image VIa Letstalkpicturebooks.com

 

She is extremely humbled to win the prize and is now working on a sequel, again featuring Julian and his nana. She found the book’s success totally gratifying and paralyzing at the same time. She hopes to continue to give her characters further life, while hoping the success doesn’t overwhelm her. But with the amount of joy and praise she has received from the LBGTQ community, she is likely to continue to soar upward much like Julian himself.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via The Guardian 

Celebrate the Publication of ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ and ‘Goblet of Fire’ Today!

This day, July 8th, saw the original publication of two Harry Potter novels: The Prisoner of Azkaban in 1999 and The Goblet of Fire in 2000. Both were huge milestones for the series, representing the continued evolution of the Potterverse into darker, more complex territory than the comparatively straightforward, whimsical first two novels (The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets.) The books were both bestsellers, Azkaban selling three million in the United Kingdom alone, and Goblet of Fire selling over five million copies. Each book received positive reviews, especially Azkaban, praised for its excellent character development as the characters become teenagers, leaving behind their child selves. The Goblet of Fire meanwhile won the Hugo Award in 2001, the only Harry Potter novel to do so.

 

Image via Amazon

 

Prisoner of Azkaban chronicles Harry’s third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As he begins the new year, a dangerous convict known as Sirius Black escapes from the dreaded prison Azkaban. Black is thought to be an associate of Voldemort, and so Hogwarts is guarded by Dementors, as the teachers believe Black will seek out Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. While dealing with this, Harry must deal with the regular perils of teenage life: increased schoolwork, feelings for girls, and a hidden secret Hermione is carrying around with her.

The Goblet of Fire tells the story of Harry taking part in the massive Triwizard Tournament, a huge competition between Hogwarts and rival schools over the course of the semester. Harry’s name appeared in the Goblet of Fire (the method by which contestants are selected) under mysterious circumstances ad Harry must deal with the tournament’s various challenges, such as stealing eggs from an angry dragon, diving beneath the Hogwarts Lake to rescue trapped students, and make his way through a monster infested, booby trapped maze to claim the Triwizard Cup. All the while, dark forces plot in the background, growing steadily throughout the school year.

 

Image Via Amazon

Film adaptations of the two books were released in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Prisoner of Azkaban grossed $796 million, as well as earning critical acclaim and further embracing the change of tone for the series by embracing a new, more darker style for the overall work. Goblet of Fire earned similar acclaim, grossing $897 million. Both were among the highest grossing, best reviewed films of their respective years, enforcing the overall popularity of the ongoing fantasy series.

Both works deepened the Potterverse, introducing iconic characters and creatures, while planting the seeds for the epic saga centering around the rise of Lord Voldemort. Celebrate their original releases and read the original books again!

 

Featured Image Via Amazon