Monday, August 20, 2012

Keeper by Kathi Appelt

Keeper by Kathi Appelt
Book Type: Novel
Author: Kathi Appelt
Pages: 399

Summary(goodreads.com):
To ten-year-old Keeper the moon is her chance to fix all that has gone wrong ... and so much has gone wrong. But she knows who can make things right again: Maggie Marie, her mermaid mother, who swam away when Keeper was just three. A blue moon calls the mermaids to gather at the sandbar, and that's exactly where Keeper is headed - in a small boat. In the middle of the night, with only her dog, BD (Best Dog), and seagull named Captain. When the riptide pulls at the boat, tugging her away from the shore and deep into the rough waters of the Gulf of Mexico, panic sets in and the fairy tales that lured her out there go tumbling into the waves. Maybe the blue moon won't sparkle with mermaids and maybe - Oh, no ... "Maybe" is just too difficult to bear.

My Review:
When I first starting reading this book, I noticed it was quite wordy, and I thought I was going to have to stop reading it because the story would not begin. However, once the story picked up, I couldn't put it down! When you first begin the story, you don't know where the characters are from or what their stories are and there is definetly an element of mystery, but at one point, everything picks up and then you want to know the rest of the characters lives and what's going to happen to Keeper. I must say though, this book was listed as a mermaid book, so I was expecting more elements of fantasy and mermaids, but there were only a few glimpses of merfolk. Even though this book was not full of fantasy, I still recommend reading it, because this book really ties beautifully together at the end and I really enjoyed it. I give this book (***--****)  between 3 and 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Little Mermaid by Michael Hague (original story by Hans Christian Anderson)

The Little Mermaid by Michael Hague
Book Type: Children's Literature
Author: Michael Hague
Pages: 48

Summary(amazon.com):
No matter how often it's retold, no matter how many illustrators tackle it, Andersen's classic tale of the lovelorn mermaid never grows stale. Unlike the sanitized Disney version, the original isn't particularly cheerful: the mermaid loses not only her voice, but also her prince and her life (although she's given a reprieve in the form of a chance to earn an immortal soul). It is, however, exquisitely written--richly layered, evocative, and full of hope, pain and yearning. Hague's Rackham-esque style suits the intense emotions of the prose; his slightly muted palette seems an extension of Andersen's imagination, capturing as it does the filtered half-light of the mysterious undersea world thronged with exquisitely sinuous merfolk. At once lavishly detailed and fanciful, his illustrations distill the haunting beauty of the century-old story, a story as fresh today as the day it was penned.

My Review:
What I really like about this book by Michael Hague is that he did not cut out any of the story or try to make it happy or less morbid compared to other authors who have retold this classic story by Hans Christian Anderson. I believe that stories that are classics such as The Little Mermaid should not be edited and should remained in their original form, especially when the book is aimed for children. I think it is important for them to learn where there favorite "Disney" stories came from. That being said, "The Little Mermaid" is written in a more mature language than children are used to, and they may find it difficult to understand. I am also personally not a fan of Hague's art. I just find it to be a little busy for my taste. With mermaid art, I like simple, but that's just me. Anyways, there is not much to review in terms of the story since the author stuck to the original, but I didn't find anything really special about this book. I give this book (***) 3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mal The Mischevious Mermaid by Tiffany Mandrake

Mal The Mischevious Mermaid by Tiffany Mandrake
Book Type: Children's Literature/ Young Adult
Author: Tiffany Mandrake
Pages: 112

Summary(amazon.com):
Mal is worried she will never be as bad a mermaid as her perfect sister Sal. But when she is offered the chance to win a Badge of Badness, everything changes. Or at least, it would, if only Mal could get the idea of winning the "Face of Mermaid Bay" contest out of her head.

My Review:
This book was very whimsical and clever, even though it was about a bad little mermaid! I read this small story from cover to cover and was in love with it. I finished this in a day because I could not put it down! I have never read a children's book about a mermaid who is trying to be bad. Usually, children's books are about princess mermaids, or mermaids who help humans. However, I was very surprised with the author's creativity with the concept of this cute book. What I really love about this story is that even though Mal has bad intentions, she never gives up her dreams and goals of getting a Badge Of Badness. This shows children to never give up their goal. The only thing I have to say about this is that I wish the book was a bit longer. It was a good concept, but I wish there was even more to the story! There are other books in the Little Horrors Series. They include:
1) Mal The Mischievous Mermaid
2) Tikki The Tricky Pixie
3) Nanda The Naughty Gnome
4) Effie The Outrageous Elf
I believe the whole series is worth reading, no matter what the readers age level is. I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Tiniest Mermaid by Laura Garnham

The Tiniest Mermaid by Laura Garnham
Book Type: Children's Book
Author: Laura Garnham
Pages: 28

Summary(goodreads.com):
When lonely Lily wanders down to the seaside, she discovers a new friend. Delphi is a mermaid who was hurt during a terrible storm. When Lily rescues Delphi and takes her home to recover, the two become best friends. Delphi captivates Lily with her tales about coral palaces and silvery fish. But when Delphi recovers, she must leave Lily and return to the sea. The illustrations are enhanced by magical foil throughout and help to tell this enchanting story of friendship.

My Review:
I thought this book was very adorable. I loved the fact that the little girl Lily went out of her way to care and tend to the mermaid, Delphi. I think this sends a very positive message to children, and that is to help people and creatures in need. The artwork in this book is also very beautiful and whimsical. One of my favorite drawings in this book was when Delphi was placed into the aquarium next to Lily's bed. The only thing I did not particularly like out of personal preference was all the magic-girly stuff. That's not something I prefer to read, but since this is a children's book, it is expected. Also, the text was a bit big, but the story itself was not written in too much of a juvenile fashion. I give this book (****) 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Atlantis: The Legend Of A Lost City by Christina Balit

Atlantis: The Legend Of A Lost City by Christina Balit                                                                             Book Type: Children's Book
Author: Christina Balit
Pages: 24

Summary(goodreads.com):
A magnificently illustrated retelling of the story of Atlantis--one of the world's most haunting and fascinating myths. 
Floating on the emerald sea is a small rocky island belonging to the mighty sea-god Poseidon. Few visit its shores-until Poseidon marries a beautiful woman named Cleito and transforms the island into a rich and fertile paradise, where all things flourish. A magnificent city arises. Poseidon names his perfect island Atlantis. Atlantis prospers and its people live in peace, but as the years pass, Poseidon's descendants start to act less like gods and more like men. When the people incur the wrath of their god, a terrible curse is carried out and the entire island sinks forever beneath the waves. 
This retelling of the history of fabled Atlantis is based on Plato's Timaeus and Critias. It features a note by internationally known historian Geoffrey Ashe, who has written extensively in the area of mythology.

My Review:
I was surprised that this book did not come up on my library's online catalog when I searched "mermaids". I actually stumbled upon this book while in the children's section, and there it was, next to the books about merfolk! As many mer-enthusiasts know, some legends say that seafolk, or merfolk, live in the beautiful, lost city of Atlantis. I have always been fascinated with the legend, so I decided to give the book a try. I am in love with it now! The story, although intended for children, is not written in a juvenile style, so adults will also love this book and it is easy to follow along. The text is not super big, which is another element I like; I cant stand huge text in children's books! However, the most captivating element about this book was the illustrations! See for yourself! 
The style of this beautiful art is very Mediterranean. I think Poseidon is one of the most beautiful drawings in this book. I really recommend trying to find this book. It was so beautiful, I will be adding it to my mer-library. I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Trip To Atlantis Marine World, Long Island!

So recently I took another trip with my amazing boyfriend, Brandon, to Atlantis Marine World on Long Island!  Its stunning!
I noticed that there were some selkies there of two different varieties! Here are some pictures :)
*Please note: after reading David Kirby's book "Death At Seaworld" I do not visit aquariums or zoos anymore. However, Atlantis does have great rescue programs for the sea life around Long Island*

These Selkies were so beautiful in the water! And adorable on land :)

















Boyfriend looking at the seals :)















Selkies playing with some interactive toys :)

                                 
Here is a picture of one of the sea lion selkies! Beautiful creatures!

Lastly, Here is a video of the sea lion selkies swimming!
One of them was named Salty, and even did a cute kids show!
video
Enjoy!
-Sirenita The Selkie

The Little Mermaid: Adaptation by Oriol Izquierdo

The Little Mermaid: Adaptation by Oriol Izquierdo
Book Type: Children's Book
Author: Oriol Izquierdo
Pages: 32

Summary(goodreads.com):
Retold in both Spanish and English, the universally loved story The Little Mermaid will delight a new generation of readers. The striking illustrations give a new look to this classic tale, and the bilingual text makes it perfect for both home and classroom libraries.

My Review: 
I have a mixed opinion on this classic tale that is retold and remade. First, what I really love and respect about this book is that the author stuck to the original story plot completely, even though it was worded a little more simply than what I would have liked to see. Another element I really loved about this book was that it was written in another language, one of the most common in the United States in fact. I truly believe that children nowadays really should learn a second language, whether it is a language that is apart of their culture, or a language that surrounds them on a daily basis. After each text is written in English, there is a bottom section that is retold in Spanish. Languages are taught in schools, but I believe they are not as reinforced as they should be. This is a great way for either an adult or a child to practice a language they are learning! However, I really did not like the illustrations in this book. I found them to be rather cartoon-y with bland and flat colors. In most children's books, you see elaborate artwork with vibrant colors, but the art in this book reminds me of a comic with a boring color palette. Anyways, I give this book (***)  3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

The Mermaids Cape by Margaret K. Wetterer

The Mermaids Cape by Margaret K. Wetterer
Please excuse this odd picture.
There weren't any cover shots when I googled it.


















Book Type: Children's Literature
Author: Margaret K. Wetterer
Pages: 32

Summary(amazon.com):
When he falls in love with a beautiful mermaid who drifts in too close to shore, a young Irish fisherman snatches up her shimmering cape knowing that as long as he has it the mermaid can never leave him.

My Review:
The story of The Mermaid's Cape is very much similar to the legend of the selkie, in which, a man marries a selkie, she discovers her pelt and then runs away. The only difference is, this mermaid doesn't have a tail to live under the sea, but a magic cape. Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed with this children's book. I was expecting a new type of selkie story since I saw seals on the cover and read the first page, which explains that the setting is Ireland. The story was nothing new to me, and as I have explained, it is pretty much like the legend of the selkie. However, I really loved the illustrations. Although they were in black and white, they were very beautiful and had a lot of life to them. Another element readers might like about this book is that it wasn't written in a juvenile fashion, so adults can also enjoy this book. I recommend looking up the legend of the selkie wife before reading this though. I give this book (***) 3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

New Items In My Mermaid Collection :)

In the last month or so, I have bought more mermaid items that I wanted to show you! Here's the pic:


















In This Picture:
2 copies of Mermaids and Mythology Magizine! (Perhaps I will review these 2 in the future?)
A David Delamare Print
Selkie by Gillian McClure
The Merbaby by Teresa Bateman
and A Mermaid Necklace!
-Sirenita The Selkie

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mythical Creatures: Mermaids by Charlotte Guillian

Mythical Creatures: Mermaids by Charlotte Guillian
Book Type: Children's Literature
Author: Charlotte Guillian
Pages: 32

Summary(amazon.com):
Guillain details the lore surrounding mermaids in this offering from the Mythical Creatures series. She establishes parameters; describes famous mermaids in literature, art, and film; and compares the tales that developed in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and the Caribbean. She also notes other fantastical water creatures and reviews the data for and against mermaids as verifiable beings, concluding that they don’t exist but make for great stories. Succinct text, large type, short chapters, and frequent “Did You Know?” boxes make this text easily accessible for emerging readers. The sidebars provide discreet factoids (“Mermaids are female”) that are sure to pique children’s interests. Illustrations (ranging from original drawings to fine-art reproductions to maps and photos) appear on nearly every page; Slade’s artwork is somewhat pedestrian, but reproductions are well chosen, and maps and photos are clear and informative. 

My Review:
I have to say, I really enjoyed reading this book even though it was intended for children. At first, I thought it was going to be another book filled with facts that I had read in previous books or facts that I already knew from doing so much research. However, what a nice surprise it was to actually learn about more mermaids from around the world! One of my favorite parts about reading mermaid books is learning the mythology and origins of each legend. Also, some of the names of the legends are often confusing since they are in another language, but Guillian breaks them down so that they are easy to pronounce. Another element that I really enjoyed about this book was the full colored maps and illustrations. Some of them were really beautiful and informative. The only thing that readers might not like about the book is that it is written in large print, since it is aimed at a younger audience. One last thing I did not enjoy about this book was at the end the author writes that mermaids are not real! How can you say such a thing? There are plenty of mermaid performers and sightings all over the world! In fact, I myself, am a selkie ;) I give this book (****) 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie