Thursday, January 30, 2014

Winter Reading 2014 The Mermaid and the Shoe

King Neptune has 50 daughters with beautiful names like Clio, Thetis, and Calypso - and then there's Minnow. They each have a skill that is amazing: Clio has gardening, Thetis can train fish, Calypso has singing - and then there's Minnow. She can't do any of the things her sisters do and we see a funny image of jellyfish plugging their ears when Minnow sings. Just like sisters on dry land, mermaid sisters can be thoughtless and mean. Calypso tells Minnow that she is useless. But then Minnow discovers a strange thing and goes on a journey to find out where it came from and what it is (we all can see that it's a shoe). On this journey she finds answers to some of the questions she has always asked and she also discovers her own special skill. When she returns home everyone is impressed by the tale of her journey, except Calypso, of course.

The illustrations of the mermaids with their hair waving in the ocean currents and their pale skin create a classic fairy tale feeling. The scenes with the jellyfish plugging their ears and the octopus shrugging are comical in contrast. Together they make a light-hearted world for Minnow to discover herself in, despite grumpy sisters. This is a great book for fans of Ariel who are looking for more mermaid stories to enjoy and should also be popular with fans of princess stories. I can also see parents and teachers using it to encourage those who have not yet found what they are good at and need some encouragement. The author has provided a trailer which shows some of the artwork from the book.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. It will be published April 1, 2014.


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