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"I'm happy to support Venus and Her Fly Trip. Through the medium of fun, playful fiction, these books empower kids and families to be aware of toxic messages in the media, making them less vulnerable to negative effects."
Jean Kilbourne, Ed. D.
"What a great gift this project is for our times and our future generations. This is clearly a much needed addition to every child's library. With two granddaughters and a career spanning 40 years as a somatic movement educator supporting embodied experiences for children and teens, I am grateful that [the author] Julia has given the intelligence of the body a place to land in our psyches and in the larger world."
Beth P. Riley, RSME , RSMT, MA in Education
"An inspiring read in so many ways - each of the works has a special feeling. It made me smile, laugh and relate to different personalities in the book. Itʻs definitely a unique and heart-warming way to express our feelings, actions and personalities. This is a kids book that I think many adults need to read. I’m looking forward to reading the entires series. I loved the different terms and their connections: Emoceans, Sane Lane, Unihorn, m.maximus and m.magnificus and their sets of eight. So clever! Absolutely loved it!! "
Andrea Moller, world record holding big wave surfer, mom, paramedic
"This is one of the most creative, imaginative, and inclusive children's books I have ever read with beautiful and stunning illustrations. The mixture of songs, poems, thoughtful storytelling, and wonderful visuals make it appealing for an array of learnersu, and it is hard not to be endeared by the characters! Reading this book brought a sense of comfort and joy and the diversity of personalities makes it relatable to all readers. It is clever, witty, and carries so many important positive messages to support our young people. I love it and can't wait for future books from this series!!
Emily Owens, STEM educator, Teacher of the Visually Impaired"

"What an awesome opportunity for young folkx to be able to connect to the world in a more positive and affirming way. These books are going to touch many young hearts and promote self love for many. Not only is the language inclusive, but welcoming to all communities. Looking forward to reading more!"
America Islas, LMFT, Mom 

"This book is simply enchanting. The illustrations are delightful and appropriate for young children. Unlike the typically sexualized depictions of mermaids, these sea creatures are diverse and celebrate all kinds of shapes and colors. The language is playful, and the story is sweet, silly, and embraces positive values without moralizing. I recommend this book for boys and girls, and anyone who enjoys fantasy."
Kate Gillooly, Mother of twin boys, Marriage & Family Therapist 

"Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia is a guide through the answers we’ve all desperately sought since childhood:
Where do mermaids come from?  Why can’t we ever see them?
Do they sing and dance?  How do they stay underwater?  Sooo much more...
This clever and delightful book will enchant young and old. It takes the reader and listener “152 unfathomables deep in the sea” where imagination and creativity and freedom rule. I’m a 77 year old grandmother of four. I’ve read and reread this adventure through the “deep see” and each time found hidden treasures. I can’t wait to gather my grandchildren and share the giggles and insights that flow so gently from the pages."
Julia Bromley, Grandmother

"Heartfelt and brilliant, Venus Underwater - Songs From Mermaidia brings the message our children need to hear, one of interconnectedness, acceptance of differences, and belonging. A perfect bedtime story, Hengst lovingly weaves profound wit and rhyme into the colorful fabric of unity and peace, where her oceanic theme features characters that children and adults alike will relate with and learn important life lessons from. Her songs and poetry not only bring big smiles and laughter, they also help to nurture self-love and acceptance of the range of emotions we experience. Samuels-Davis’ whimsical art allows this poignant and memorable story to come to life. Let’s go on a Unihorn ride together and then practice dream yoga!"
Shannon E. Bode, mama, auntie, therapist (LMFT), and school counselor

"I love this book so much! The language is so fanciful, and the illustrations are exquisite! It’s a very fun read for both kids and adults. This is a fantastic introduction to the world of Mermaidia, “where mermaids live peacefully with all sea creatures and everyone is equal,” and I'm very excited to keep reading more about Venus and her adventures in many books to come! The messages of self-love and empowerment woven masterfully throughout the text are so important for kids these days!"
Sol Larkspur  

"Julia beautifully weaves together a magical tale of a Queendom where we get to feel the power of love and kindness, where each of us has a special place and purpose, and we are loved and valued for our unique beauty. The land is free of judgement and around every corner an opportunity to laugh at the humor that is part of this creative life journey."
Rami Vissell, PhD, mother and therapist

"Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia is the first book of a new series Venus and Her Fly Trip.
Julia Hengst takes us on a trip to Mermaidia, an enchanted world where mermaids live! It’s a fun way of venturing into the fantastical world of mermaids. Through playful and catchy songs, Hengst introduces us to merbabies, and we even celebrate their birth. It’s a delightful world where there are all kinds of families and friendships. The mermaids learn magic at Charm School and become Sea Witches.
The book ends with A Mermaid Lullaby, a beautiful message to mother Earth. I really enjoyed singing the poems and even rapped a few!
It’s a fantastical escapade, more like an action-adventure story full of puns, mind benders, and ridiculous characters! The illustrations by Esther Samuels-Davis are captivating, and sure to delight the reader. Font color, style, and size are appealing. 
Though the book is meant for children in the 6-12 years age range, not all young readers might be able to read this independently and might require help. There are a lot of big and unfamiliar words. The sentences are long, and a few younger readers might lose interest. 
Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia is a delightful book to teach children important lessons of kindness, teamwork, and friendship in a fun manner."
Chandra Sundeep