If you’ve seen her at a Bayside festival or event, you won’t soon forget her: the Chesapeake Mermaid, a brunette beauty with the shimmering tail of an Atlantic sturgeon.
The Mermaid, a self-proclaimed mascot for Bay conservation, takes her environmental message to kids of all ages across the Chesapeake region. This month she’ll release her second storybook geared towards educating children on Bay issues from a young age. With vivid illustrations by Angela R. Mitchell, The Giants of the Bay personifies some of the biggest challenges to Bay restoration— development, industry, and politics— as big, scary giants.
The story’s message is that even small voices can make a difference, and that children will be the future protectors of the Bay.
Says Mitchell, “I wanted children of all ages to understand how big problems happen but also how little changes by a lot of people can add up. It’s not hopeless.”
John Bonanno, President of the Coastal Conservation Association Maryland, calls the 32-page picture book “a fantasy within the realm of reality.”
“Both adults and children should be aware what we do today has impact in years to come. The Chesapeake Bay belongs to everyone and we are all responsible for its future,” says Bonanno.
The Chesapeake Mermaid will bring the magical “seeds of knowledge” she teaches about in her book on tour this year to continue to drive home The Giants of the Bay’s lessons. To see a list of her upcoming appearances or to order her storybook, click here. The book comes in hardback or paperback, and is intended for children six and up.
The first storybook for Mitchell and the Mermaid, The Last Bivalvian, sold hudreds of copies in the Chesapeake watershed. Over the course of 75 appearances, the Mermaid has reached more than 35,000 people across four states.
-Meg Walburn Viviano