Based on the true story of Annette Kellerman, who made a big splash in her time as both an athlete and a swimming fashionista, Mermaid Queen seeks to inspire young girls to follow their own dreams by presenting them with a lovable, spunky heroine who overcame physical handicaps to become a famous, world-class performer. Annette could hardly walk when she was a child, but once her father taught her how to swim, she was able to move around freely. She started to imitate the lovely dancers her parents were training every day in the water, and eventually she discovered a way to combine her two greatest passions: she invented water ballet. Her costumes caused quite a stir, making her a pioneer in the development of modern bathing suits for women. Following Kellerman’s arrest and successful court defense, other women started to realize that there were alternatives to bulky bathing suits.
The life of Kellerman serves as an inspiring example of overcoming challenges and pursuing your passion. She never let physical limitations or public criticism hold her back, which was very beneficial to many women in her era and beyond.
Readers’ hearts will swell and contract in unison with Kellerman’s free-spiritedness thanks to Edwin Fortheringham’s vibrant and exuberant illustrations. A concluding two-page spread depicts bathing attire both before and after the Mermaid Queen’s illustrious reign. The historical development of bathing suits is shown in amusing fashion. At the end of the day, you won’t ever take the bikini for granted again.