Monday, March 4, 2019

Book Review: Sirena Ba 'Yan?

Sirena Ba 'Yan?
Is That A Mermaid?
By Candy Gourlay
Illustrated by Francesca Chessa
Billungual Edition
Adarna House, 2019

Sirena Ba 'Yan? (Is That A Mermaid?) is Candy Gourlay's new picture book. It is about a dugong (sea cow) claiming itself as a mermaid to the chagrin of two kids who met this gentle sea creature by the shore. Together they go on an adventure with the dugong consistently keeping its claim, I am a mermaid!

The book is both humorous and thought provoking. On the surface, the dugong sounds and looks silly but there is unwavering conviction each time it articulates its chosen identity. The children learned to accept this and allowed it to be. As gentle and tolerant as the dugong, they empathised and understood. What harm can a sea cow, who thinks it is a mermaid, do to them?

There are many layers to this playfully illustrated picture book that could lead to conversations about facts on sea creatures and marine animals, choices and self knowledge. What else could you expect from the award winning author of Tall Story (Anvil, 2012) but a tale of contradictions and opportunities to think and ask questions.

The book launching is on Saturday, March 16, 2019 2PM at Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street.

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