Caldecott Award winning illustrator David Wiesner has teamed up with Donna Jo Napoli to tell the story of the Fish Girl.
Fish Girl lives in an aquarium by the sea. She lives with her friends the fish, a special octopus and Neptune, King of the Sea. Neptune runs the aquarium, putting on shows, and he protects Fish Girl. He has told her that she is the last of her kind, that they must hide for her safety. She must play peek-a-boo with the visitors to make them wonder, did they really see her?
But living the way is lonely, even Neptune goes home at night. One night a chance to make a real friend is too hard for Fish Girl to resist.
Fish Girl and Livie form a kind of friendship, though Fish Girl can’t leave the water or even talk. Becoming Livie’s friend helps Fish Girl find an inner strength; one night she climbs out of her tank! Livie also plants seeds of doubt about Neptune. Fish Girl leaves her tank again only to discover that there are legs hidden within her tail!
Fish Girl’s world is quickly swirling out of control. Not only can she walk, she learns the truth about Neptune: is is just a man, and so she vows to escape but not until she frees her friends.
The story comes to a climax when “Neptune” discovers Livie and Fish Girl together. He sends Livie away with veiled threats to Fish Girl if Livie tells anyone about her. Fish Girl can take no more! She shows him her legs and her dear old friend Octopus saves her, in fact there is more to Octopus than meets the eye.
Mira, as Livie named Fish Girl, is free. Her future is uncertain though. Weisner gives us a hint that she may find happiness on the dry land with Livie, but as a true storyteller, he lets us write our own ending in our imagination.