illus. by Molly Idle. 48p. Little, Brown. Oct. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316465670. POP
PreS-Gr 1—There are many aspects of an ocean a mermaid might be assigned to watch over: coral reefs, sand beaches, or the living creatures beneath the surface. So young mermaid Pearl is disappointed and saddened to learn that she is to "look after" a single grain of sand. Though reluctant to accept such an insignificant charge, she complies when her mother tells her "The smallest of things can make a great difference." The child takes her responsibility seriously and as she watches, her grain of sand grows bigger and brighter. Beautiful Prismacolor pencil drawings in the blues, greens, and teals of the sea are soft and soothing; additional touches of white and brilliant pink fairly leap off the pages. The white text is placed in a variety of locations throughout the story but, unfortunately, fades and becomes difficult to read on several pages where positioned over a pale portion of the illustration.
VERDICT Idle's appealing story is a quiet, charming pourquoi tale that will delight young readers and listeners. Perfect for bedtime or anytime sharing.

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