MerMay among the June Gloom
#MerMay, an Instagram Illustrator Phenomenon
The month of May has been dubbed Mer-May. I don't know if it's a new thing but my Instagram has been flooded by wonderful mermaid and merman drawings by children's book illustrators. It's inspiring.
Yes, the month of May has come and gone. But you can still get on board for #MerMay. Check out the proliferation of illustrations and more on Instagram. Here is one of my favorites by Amy Marie Stadelmann, author of the Olive and Beatrix series (from her IG account, posted with permission):
One of our favorite author-illustrators, Ben Hatke, has some fabulous mer-babies and mermaids for MerMay. My favorites are this baby and this mermaid with skull (below) because it reminds me of Hamlet (posted with Hatke's permission from his IG account). Who doesn't love a good reference to Shakespeare? I tried to convince Mini Me Bookworm to do a 'cute' illustration of Hamlet holding the skull for her school's Shakespeare illustration contest. No dice.
BTW, Hatke's sequel to Mighty Jack (I'm calling it the second half), Mighty Jack and the Goblin King, is out in September. Yes, we are counting the days and putting it on pre-order because we HAVE to know what happens after that cliffhanger.
Another fun discovery in May? Mermaids and Mermen can be whatever you envision them to be, especially in the #MerMay phenomenon. I'm fond of Benson Shum's version of an older couple (posted with permission), proving that even in the sea, age is just a number. Shum is a Disney animator, who made his picture book debut a few months ago with the lovely Holly's Day at the Pool.
Finally, I discovered that Tom Bancroft, a former Disney animator, is the originator of the MerMay tradition....I love finding these funny little book and illustrator trends on Instagram, among the Bookstagram community. Well done, Mr. Bancroft, well done.
Again, even though MerMay is over, you can still enjoy the thousands of illustrations here.
I'm not a huge FB person, but ever since I joined Instagram last summer, it has been so inspiring as a writer and a reader. Thank you to the artists, illustrators, writers, and fellow bibliophiles who make it such a fantastic place! (even though it adds to my procrastination....)
Stay tuned for my review of David Wiesner and Donna Jo Napoli's Fish Girl, in honor of belated MerMay!