The Definitive Guide to

Mabel: A Mermaid Fable

Written and illustrated by Rowboat Watkins
Published by Chronicle Books
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 5.0 / 5.0
List Price
Target Age
Book Type

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

A lovely and laugh-out-loud picture book from the award-winning author of Rude Cakes and Most Marshmallows.

A silly read-aloud tale for kids about being yourself! Mabel isn’t like the other mermaids. Lucky isn’t like the other octopuses. But when they find each other, they discover that true friendship isn’t about how you look, and that sometimes what we are searching for is right under our noses.

The inimitable Rowboat Watkins is back with another humorous tale about being true to yourself.

• A delightful, inspiring read-aloud book for toddlers that celebrates gender diversity and difference • Stylish, accessible art brings this story of being true to yourself to hilarious life. • Rowboat Watkins is a 2010 Sendak Fellow and Ezra Jack Keats honoree.

Young readers of Julian Is a Mermaid, Mary Wears What She Wants, and Exclamation Mark will find much to love in this tale that celebrates individuality and acceptance.

What Kind of Book is Mabel: A Mermaid Fable

Quotes from This Book

  • "Mabel tried hiding her nose / behind jaunty shells and by wearing / seaweed falsies, / but this only made her feel like a clown."
  • "Suddenly, / Mabel realized / everything she ever / really needed . . . / was already right under her nose."

What Questions Should I Ask My Child

  • Mabel is different because she doesn’t have a mustache, and Lucky is different for only having seven legs instead of eight. What makes you different and unique?

  • Lucky shows Mabel that you don’t need to be like everyone else to be happy. When you see bullies like the puffer fish that call Mabel and Lucky “nudibranchs,” what can you do to be inclusive, kind, and appreciative of others’ differences?

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

B is for Bookworm
Human Development Degree, Book-loving aunt

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Who Wrote Mabel: A Mermaid Fable

author & illustrator
Rowboat Watkins

I’m the least messy person in my apartment, but that’s not saying much. I also have the shortest legs and am the least spontaneous…by leaps and bounds. Other than my dog. Who is not spontaneous at all. And who also has much shorter legs than me. Although they are proportionally bigger, if we’re being totally honest with each other. Which is not saying much. But it’s true.

Speaking of true things, my wife really truly does call me Rowboat. I think it’s fair to say it never once occurred to my parents to call me Rowboat. So they didn’t. To this day my dad is still convinced my name is Robot. Which it is not. Nothing against robots. I’m pro robot. But I’m a rowboat. With short legs. And an aversion to turtlenecks sweaters and boots.

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What Has Rowboat Watkins Said About This Book

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Rowboat Watkins's Book Dedication

For Maya

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Book Details

ISBN 10:
ISBN 13:
Publication Date:
March 24, 2020
Text Details:
Typeset in Austral Slab Rough
Illustration Details:
The illustrations in this book were made with pencil, watercolor, ink, vintage book paper, and an iMac.