Friday, August 17, 2012
The Little Mermaid by Michael Hague (original story by Hans Christian Anderson)
Author: Michael Hague
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.
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