Author(s): Meg Clibbon and Lucy Clibbon
A merrily alluring guide to the realm of mermaids.
If you've ever heard the call to be such a creature, Imagine You're a Mermaid! is the guide for you! Awash with information on all things mermaid, this book offers tips on what to wear (seashell tiaras and seaweed hair extensions), where to live (in coral castles with turrets of pearl), and what to do (look beautiful and maybe make some mischief).
Dripping with mermaid tales, sea scenes, and even some treats to try (mer-ingues, anyone?), and saturated with stunning artwork (including watercolors, of course Imagine You're a Mermaid! is guaranteed to drown your boredom.
I must say, I have some mixed feelings about this children's book. What I did like about this book was the fun and girly/glamorous theme and the fun activities a mermaid does throughout her life, daily. There are also a few cute mermaid activities your child can do, such as collect seashells in a jar, and there are also some mermaid recipes. However, I find a few flukes with this story. At the beginning of the book, the authors talk about how a mermaid spends all her time worrying about her looks, and how they don't live very useful lives. This just seems a bit odd to me to put in a children's book. What also bothered me was how much the authors continually list how much a mermaids appearance means to them! Yes, we all know the stereotypical image of a mermaid sitting on a rock combing her hair, but if you were to read stories from around the world, that's not the main focus for most sea folk. I don't think we should instill into young girls that image is important and they have to spend all day playing dress up or putting on makeup. I thought I was the only person feeling as if this book had an off vibe to it, but then I checked amazon reviews. Here is one review that was posted:
"My daughter brought this home from her school library. Imagine my disgust at a line in this book that asserts a mermaid's life, which seems boiled down to nothing more than being beautiful and shopping for accessories, is "better than being useful." From start to finish, this book undermined the core values we attempt to teach our daughter: that consumerism does not equal happiness, that true beauty can't be achieved through accessories and that it is quite important to be useful. Yes, she is quite beautiful, but she is worth so much more than that. How about a book extolling the virtues of a scientist's life? Imagine the possibilities when we look beyond the stereotypes."
If you are looking for a mermaid children's book, there are more options listed on my blog. Not to mention, the illustrations are not beautiful to me, and seem overly juvenile and overly colored. I give this book (**---***) between 2 and 3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie