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Monday, December 17, 2018

Pearl, written and illustrated by Molly Idle. Little, Brown and Company, Hachette. 2018. $ 23.49 ages 3 and up

"With that, Pearl was left alone.
A wave of disappointment washed
over her.

She was surrounded by thousands
of grains of sand ... millions
... billions beyond counting!

And here she was entrusted with just one?
Her heart grew heavy ... "

Pearl sees that the other mermaids have important daily work to do. She is discontent. She complains to her mother about the lack of meaning in her life. She wishes for a chance to help. Her mother responds by giving Pearl a seemingly small, but important, job. A grain of sand? To care for through day and night? How can that possibly make a difference in their watery world?

Pearl does as she is asked, caring for the tiny grain while watching it change and grow. Eventually, the weight from Pearl's heart is lifted as the pearl's light shines forth from the sky above. It illuminates land and sea from its lofty place in the night sky.

"Pearl beamed up at it.
It beamed back.
Its light touched everything."

Molly Idle's gentle fable is winsome and heartwarming. It speaks to young readers of the importance of even the smallest things having impact. From one single grain of sand, a pearl grows and makes the world more beautiful. Pearl does everything right as she provides attentive care, and watches how time and patience helps her pearl be its best self.

With curving lines, gorgeous pastel colors and the sea as a backdrop, Molly Idle creates a world of wonder for little ones who love mermaid stories. The book's luminescence is remarkable; the light shimmers throughout, in keeping with the beauty of the front cover.

This is a lovely book to be read aloud.

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