5 out of 5 stars
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Lilleah was a mermaid who was adopted by a kind family after her mother was captured. She adored her sisters and obeyed her father when he instructed her to wait until she was older before venturing off to see the neighboring lakes and rivers. One day, after she was old enough, Lilleah went exploring and did not return. Her family refused to believe she had fallen in love with a prince and run away. They organized a search but did not find her. What happened to Lilleah? Find out when you read this engaging tale bearing her name.
I know little about mermaids—even the Disney princess Ariel was not enough to capture my interest—but I adored Lilleah. The beautiful blue hues in her locks, tail, and eyes were enchanting, but I admired her integrity most of all. She loved and respected her adoptive family, and they cherished her in return. I adopted her as well and longed for her safe recovery.
The 50-page story, set against the backdrop of the beautiful land of the Coast Salish nations in Canada, has elements of mystery, adventure, and even activism. Categorizing this read as a graphic novel is reasonable, but it does not do justice to the multimedia reading experience it offers. Lilleah is an admirable merger of technology with other trade skills. I most appreciate the author’s time and dedication in making the models and placing them in scenes that bring life to this mystical story. The characters are 12-inch-tall 3D avatars made to resemble the cast presented at the end of the book. Their outfits are elaborate costumes featuring historically accurate period clothing and other detailed garb scaled to the avatar size.
The author and illustrator, eelonqa K harris, describes herself as “socially incommodious,” but she has amassed an impressive set of collaborators in this work. The artisans include weavers, carvers, and tailors throughout Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. And the linguists comprise Inuktitut, Plains Cree, and French translators. This book will be released in six languages, various print formats, and an audiobook version. When I googled the title before selecting this review opportunity, I found the author had posted a video introduction to the book on YouTube and watched it: the video beautifully captured the essence of this story.
I rate Lilleah 5 out of 5 stars. There was absolutely nothing I disliked in this read. I highly recommend this storyline and unique presentation to readers who appreciate mystical tales and enchanting settings. The writing style is best for readers ages 10 and up, but all ages would enjoy the visuals. Even if you decide not to read the book, check out the video.
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