A mermaid offers a young girl a magical escape in this lushly told and luminously illustrated Coretta Scott King Honor–winning picture book.
Sukey’s new step-pa is a mean, bossy man she calls “Mister Hard-Times.” He makes her work in his garden all day and Sukey’s ma doesn’t seem to care. One day, when her step-pa isn’t looking, Sukey takes her chance to run away to her secret hiding place by the sea.
There, she meets Mama Jo, a beautiful black mermaid. Mama Jo’s got a surprise for Sukey: a magical kingdom beneath the sea without time or pain. But there are also no people. Is it really better than the world above?
Brian Pinkney has illustrated numerous acclaimed books for children, including Martin Rising; In Your Hands; On the Ball; The Faithful Friend; Duke Ellington; and In the Time of the Drums. His many awards include two Caldecott Honors, a Coretta Scott King Illustration Award, four Coretta Scott King Illustration Honors, and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award. Brian lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and frequent collaborator, Andrea Davis Pinkney. Visit him at BrianPinkney.net.
Publisher: Aladdin (May 1, 1996)
Length: 32 pages
Grades: K - 3
Ages: 5 - 8
Lexile ® 820L
The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®