Sunday, December 22, 2013

Barbie: A Sea of Friends by Rita Balducci

Barbie: A Sea of Friends by Rita BalducciBook Type: Children's Book
Author: Rita Balducci
Pages: 55

Summary:
Barbie joins her friend on an adventure and learns that people who are different can be friends too

My Review:
I first found this book when I was looking into buying some mermaid barbie dolls for my collection. However, I used to have this book when I was little and I still adore it to this day! I really love some of the concepts mentioned in this book, such as being adventurous, instead of just sitting and staring at the mirror, friendship despite differences, problems that ocean life must go through and helping those in need. I found this book to be very mature for a barbie book and it surprised me. I must share this quote with you, merfolk!

"Barbie sighed. "Most mermaids are afraid of people," she told Eva. "They hear of humans in boats who hunt their whale friends. They see trash dumped into the water. They hear seagulls talk about places where all the fish are dying," (Balducci 26). 
   
This quote shocked me completely, especially a topic like this in a kids book! As you can see by the cover, the images are very unique; they are photographs of an actual Barbie surrounded by her sea-friends. The photos in here were absolutely incredible. If you love mermaids AND Barbie as much as I do, go check this little treasure out. I loved it! I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Mermaids and Magic Shows: The Paintings of David Delamare by David Delamare and Nigel Suckling


Book Type: Art Book

Author(s): David Delamare and Nigel Suckling
Pages: 128

Summary(amazon.com):

Gliding, golden, half-fish, half-woman, hair streaming behind her: from ancient folk tales to Hans Christian Andersen's beloved The Little Mermaid to films likeSplash!, these fantasy creatures entice children and adults alike. In artist David Delamare's richly imaginative paintings, they appear beautiful as never before, captured in a dreamy, wonderful sea world. Mermaid embryos lie curled inside bubble-like eggs, floating in the foamy water; another, with swirly tattoos covering her back, sits on a rock, gazing at herself pensively in the mirror; a third sits astride a dragon, her head thrown back in an expression of ecstasy. Also here: the deadly sirens, the "downside" of mermaids who lure men to their death with their irresistible song, plus Delamare's magical gallery paintings and book illustrations. 

My Review:

Although this is not a typical mermaid book, I am always entranced by David Delamare's work. The mermaids he creates are beautiful, sensual, and capture the essence of the sea. In this particular book, the authors discuss a bit about Delamare's inspiration for his art, some biographical information and facts about some of the paintings. Unfortunately, I bought this book without reading it first and I am disappointed I did. I feel a bit mislead by the cover. Although it features a mermaid and the title is "Mermaids and Magic Shows" there was only a brief section on Delamare's mermaid art. The rest was other illustrations and children's books he has done. If readers are sensitive to nude art I would advise to not even bother looking into this book. Much of Delamare's work features nude models. Here is a link if you are interested in buying or simply looking at Delamare's art: David Delamare Mermaid Gallery.
Overall, I give this book (***-****) between 3 and 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Little Mermaid Golden Book by Disney

Book Type: Children's Book
Author: Disney
Pages: 64

Summary(amazon.com):
Ariel wants to be human and nothing—not even a nasty sea witch—is going to stop her. Girls ages 3–7 who are Disney Princess fans will love this beautiful hardcover storybook retelling of Disney The Little Mermaid, releasing on Diamond Edition DVD and Blu-ray October 2013!

My Review: 
While on vacation in Mystic Conneticut, I discovered a little book shop that had tons of children's books. I dug for hours in the shelves until I finally came across this gem! As mentioned above, this book was released for the Blue-ray edition of the movie. However, I was slightly disappointed with how much they cut out of the story line. Instead of the book opening up with the scene of Prince Eric on his ship, this book opened up instead with all the merfolk swimming into the palace for Ariel's first performance. Flotsam and Jetsam were not even mentioned until the "Kiss The Girl" scene! However, I do think this book had beautiful illustrations and they could pose as inspiration for someone who loves to draw mermaids, like me! I give this book (****) 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Little Mermaid Junior Novelization by Melissa Lagonegro and Disney

Book Type: Novel
Author: Melissa Lagonegro
Pages: 128

Summary:
The little mermaid Ariel wants to be human and nothing--not even a nasty sea witch—is going to stop her. Disney The Little Mermaid: The Junior Novelization is a complete retelling of this beloved Disney film and it features eight pages of full-color scenes from the movie for girls ages 8–12 who love the Disney princesses!

My Review:

I first stumbled upon this book while shopping on amazon.com for, what else? Mermaid books! I bought this on a whim and decided to give it a shot. I was so thrilled with my purchase! This book completely mimics the movie, from every single scene, character and even the script was kept in. None of the lines were changed which I really loved. This truly felt like I was reading and watching the movie at the same time. Where there should be songs in the movie, Langonegro simply summarized what the song was about, which was fine with me. I have to say merfolk, I have read a lot of "The Little Mermaid" books, but so far this one portrays the movie the best. Check this book out if you are as crazy about The Little Mermaid as I am! I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Monday, November 4, 2013

Watersong Series by Amanda Hocking


Book Type: Novel/ Series
Author: Amanda Hocking
Pages: Book 1) 320   book 2) 368    book 3) 352  book 4) 560

Summary of first book(amazon.com):
Gemma Fisher seems to have it all—she’s carefree, pretty, and falling in love with Alex, the boy next door.  He’s always been just a friend, but this summer they’ve taken their relationship to the next level, and now she’s falling harder for him every day.  But Gemma doesn’t know that her ordinary life is about to change forever.

My Review:
Wow! I honestly cant even begin to describe how deep I dived into the pages of this book. It was a total physcological thriller that kept me reading and reading! I think I finished the first book in two days! Amanda Hocking managed to create likable characters that many readers can identify with. Readers can identify with Harper, who hides her emotions and is a logical thinker, or Gemma, who is a free spirit and defiant of the curse that keeps her locked. I also believe that young women who read this book will definitely have a crush on Alex, Gemma's boyfriend, Or Daniel, Harper's crush. Alex is a sweetheart, the boy-next-door, and Daniel is the badboy with a soft heart. 
This book also promotes positive female traits, such as standing up for what you believe in, courage, faith, and never giving up. I also thought the idea of having evil sirens(or mermaids) was such an interesting story concept! The girls who enter into the small town of Capri are named Penn, Lexi and Thea. Everyone knows they're strange, but nobody can pinpoint what is going on. Until one night, they turn Gemma into one of them. These girls were just plain mean! The second and third book added even more suspense to the last and final book. If you decide to read this series the last and final book, titled Elegy, it will make you go OMG... what?? It was so shocking, beautiful and just plain awesome! Read this series guys! You wont be disappointed! I give this series (*****) 5 stars!
-Sirenita The Selkie


PS: This trailer of the book "Wake" really sums it up! check it out here!



Friday, October 4, 2013

The Mermaid And The Whale by Georgess McHargue

Sorry for the fuzzy image. This book is
a bit old, and it was hard to find
a good image!
Book Type: Children's book
Author: Georgess McHargue
Pages: 40

Summary(goodreads.com):
Recounts a mermaid's determined efforts to win the love of a whale.

My Review:
This old sea story was a very charming book. Although readers can find the tale of "The Mermaid And The Whale" in other collections of mermaid stories, I believe this one really has some salt in it, meaning one can sense the age of this classic sea shanty. McHargue has captured the magic of this old sea tale, and I felt like I was listening to an old sailor talk about a tale he heard on his travels. However, I was not crazy about the illustrations at all, especially for a story involving the sea, and a beautiful mermaid! The images look more like concept art than beautiful illustrations, and they just seemed to lack life and most of all, color. Overall, this book was okay, but it is a bit antiquated and I am unsure if children or adults would find it interesting. I give this book (***) 3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

The Syrena Legacy Series by Anna Banks

Book Type: Novel
Author: Anna Banks
Pages:  Book 1) 324  Book 2) 246   Book 3) 330

Of Poseidon by Anna BanksSummary of "Of Poseidon"(first book, goodreads.com):
Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom...

Told from both Emma and Galen's points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance

My Review:

Book One:
When I had first began reading this series, I felt like the storyline was disjointed, there was a confusing plot, and too much going on. However, as the story progressed, the book began to grow on me! The storyline took a bit longer to develop then I expected, mainly because I was unaware that this is actually a series, with "Of Poseidon" being the first book. 
What I Liked:
I really think Anna Banks created an interesting culture that surrounds the Syrena's (the merfolk of the book) ways of life, especially the mating ceremonies and rituals. What I also found to be interesting was that there are little bits of science fiction and the Atlantis theory mixed in with the story. Emma and Rayna (Galen's sister) do play positive roles for teenage girls and women alike. They speak their mind, they're determined and strong, and aren't easily swayed by the men they adore. There is also a lot of romance in this book, and quite a bit of sexual tension between Galen and Emma, so readers who love romance will definitely love this first book.

Dislike! What Annoyed Me:
I found a couple of things to annoy me, such as the main character. I cant figure out her personality! She is clumsy and awkward one moment, then fiery and feisty the next. She also blushes way too much around Galen, and her phrase "ohmysweetgoodness" gets a bit old when its mentioned in the story so many times.  

I have to say, the ending of Poseidon was a great entry point into the second book! 
The first book gets (****) 4 stars.

Book Two: Of Triton
 I was very surprised when I finished the second book in the series. It was an excellent continuation of the series! 
In this book, the characters have matured so much, and this even includes Rayna. Instead of simple romantic scenes, the book has blossomed into more dramatic scenes that deal with the Syrena race and the Royals. Emma has also changed from being a clumsy "ohmysweetgoodness" teenager to a young woman, and her personality is more defined into a strong, independent girl who is no longer shy and passive around Galen. 
There was a deeper plot compared to the first book, and each chapter was left on an edge, leaving the reader wanting to continue.  
 I give this book (*****) 5 stars.



Book Three: Of Neptune
I was really dissapointed with the way this third book turned out, and frankly, I feel that it ruined the series for me. 

So This Is Love...? Not Really:
Although Emma and Galen supposedely love eachother, they still get embarrased to ask certain questions and are tentative to fully open up to one another. On one occasion, Emma wants to know if merpeople need laxatives  (why is she thinking of this?) and wants to ask Galen, but feels so embarrased that she might pass out. Love is about comfort and acceptance, and if she's embarrased about something so petty, how is this love?
Emma and Galen remind me of the fresh-out-of-high school couples that believe they are going to be together forever and think they're in love. However, there were a couple of times when Emma "tests the waters" with another man. In addition, I couldnt find any personality traits that they love about eachother. Everything is physical. Sure, I understand being enamored with someone physically when they first meet, but shouldnt the love have deepened by now?

Characters are Annoying:
Emma continued to annoy me in this third book. After Galen and Emma get into a fight, she starts to take interest in another character, named Reed. Although she turns him down when he wants to take it to the next level, she is a total lead on and flirt! That's not love! Get it together woman!
So let's talk about Reed. This kid is a half breed like Emma so naturally he has an interest in her. However, he is completely head over fins for her within a few days and even pledges life devotion to her! The relationships in this book are just shallow and unrealistic! 

Concluding Thoughts:
I would say the only thing that I liked about this book was that it reminded me of a dystopian book. Emma and Galen enter this village that is seemingly flawless on the outside, but has a lot of dark secrets and motives which readers will later discover.
I would rate this book (***) 3 stars. However, I would give this series (****) 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie


Monday, September 23, 2013

The Little Mermaid adapted by Anthea Bell and Illustrations by Chihiro iwasaki

Book Type: Children's Book
Author: Hans Christian Anderson adapted by Anthea Bell
Pages: 33

Summary(amazon.com):

A little sea princess, longing to be human, trades her mermaid's tail for legs, hoping to win a prince's love and earn an immortal soul for herself.

My Review:
It is a beautiful idea that so many people are reviving the classic story of "The Little Mermaid" by Hans Christian Anderson. However, I don't see much spark in this particular version. The story says it was "adapted" but it was very similar to the original text, which for me, can get a bit boring after reading the same story after a while. I also thought the illustrations were a bit bland. For a children's story, especially one so filled with magic and love should be a bit brighter and enticing, but they did fall a bit flat for me. Perhaps I just dont find water color art interesting. Overall, I give this book (***) 3 stars.
                                                               -Sirenita The Selkie

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Tail Of Emily Windsnap Series By Liz Kessler


The most recent
Emily Windsnap book


Book Type: Novel
Author: Liz Kessler
Pages In First Book: 209

Summary Of First Book (goodreads.com):
For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long, her mother has seemed anxious to keep her away from the water. But when Mom finally agrees to let her take swimming lessons, Emily makes a startling discovery - about her own identity, the mysterious father she's never met, and the thrilling possibilities and perils shimmering deep below the water's surface. With a sure sense of suspense and richly imaginative details, first-time author Liz Kessler lures us into a glorious undersea world where mermaids study shipwrecks at school and Neptune rules with an iron trident - an enchanting fantasy about family secrets, loyal friendship, and the convention-defying power of love

My Review:
I absolutely adore this series. I believe the first book came out when I was about twelve years old, so naturally I found myself connecting with the main character, Emily Windsnap. What first gravitated me to read these books was the spectacular and whimsical book covers. However, deep within the sea of pages, the way Kessler crafted her words and thoughts were just as whimsical. I guarantee, that the moment you get through the first pages of the first Emily Windsnap book, you will truly fall under this mermaids spell. As the series continues, the story grows and becomes even more exciting. Emily Windsnap is definitely a series you want to read if you love mermaids as much as I do. By the way, don't listen to what other pages say about the age level. I find this book to be totally suitable to any age group. The books are also around 200 pages, but anyone who loves mermaids or loves to read can fly through this easily. I give this series (*****) 5 stars.
PS: The Other books in the series are:
Book 2) Emily Windsnap and the Monster From The Deep
Book 3) Emily Windsnap And The Castle In The Mist
Book 4) Emily Windsnap and the Siren's Secret
Book 5) Emily WIndsnap and the Land Of The Midnight Sun

-Sirenita The Selkie

End Of Mermaid Summer Reading Challenge

Hi Merfolk!
By John Waterhouse
Sorry this post is a little late. School and work have me swimming all over! The official ending of the summer reading challenge was August 26th, the day school started for me. This year I was able to read 27 books! Not too bad! In addition, I also started a few series, but I didn't want to post a blog post without finishing them. Its actually been really hard to get the books in these series! The series include:

1) The Watersong Series,  3 out of 4 books

2) Tempest Trilogy,  2 out of 3 books

3) Of Poseidon Trilogy, 1 out of 2 books

I hope to finish these series soon!
Keep on reading merfolk!
Remember to post how many mer-books you read this summer in the comment section below! :)
-Sirenita The Selkie

Friday, August 16, 2013

Graphic Mythical Creatures: Mermaids by Gary Jeffrey (21)

Graphic Mystical Creatures: mermaids by Gary Jeffrey
Book Type: Graphic Novel
Author: Gary Jeffrey
Pages: 24

Summary:
A book on the legend of mermaids, and one graphic novel folktale.

My Review:
When I first picked this up from the library, I was really excited, since I have never read a graphic novel before, especially one about mermaids! Sadly though, I was very dissapointed. Although the contents list "The Mermaids Comb" and "Other Mermaid Tales" the book only has one mermaid tale (The Mermaids Comb). The "Other Mermaids Tale" section is about half a page of other folktales that were cut down into summaries! The first part of the book briefly, and I mean very briefly, goes over the mermaid legend, but the information can easily be found in other mermaid books. As for the actual story, the illustrations were interesting, but I found the mermaids tail be rather fat, and less sinous and graceful. I think this book had alot of potential, and could have been really cool if the auhor did more than one story in a graphic novel form. I give this book (**-***) between 2 and 3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

The Little Mermaid by Walt Disney Pictures (20)

The Little Mermaid
Book Type: Children's book
Author: Walt Disney Pictures
Pages: 96

Summary:
A picture book of The Little Mermaid Movie.

My Review:
I have been waiting such a long time to find this book! I knew that there had to be some type of book form for The Little Mermaid movie! I really loved this version that stemmed from the movie. The best part about this book is the beautiful and vibrant pictures. They are absolutely stunning, colorful and look like they just came out of the movie! This book stays pretty true to the storyline, but the only thing that bothered me was that there were a few quotes said by the characters that weren't said in the movie. Overall though, this is a beautiful book and I think anyone will enjoy this. I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Between The Sea And Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore (19)

Between THe Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
Book Type: novel
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Pages: 229

Summary(goodreads.com):
For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alander, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alander band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air

My Review:
When I first picked up this book, I admit, I was slightly intimidated. I thought the plot would be too complicated or confusing. However, after the first few pages of this book, I fell in love with it! The mermaids in this book were so believably real, and I love how they had their own culture and set of traditions, and were recognized as a race of people even amongst the humans and the Fandarsee, the winged people. I was really connected to Esmerine, who has a love of learning and books, just like me! Readers might not like Alander at first, and might think him snobbish, but he has his reasons. I think my favorite part of this awesome fantasy novel was the multiple settings throughout the storyline. When I read this, I felt like the town of Sormesen was inspired by Venice, Italy and I even imagined some elements of Greek architecture and rural landscapes. Dolamore was really creative and had amazing ideas when writing this beautiful story, full of rich detail and a fantasy plot that wasn't overly complicated. I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Daughters Of The Sea Trilogy by Kathryn Lasky (16,17,18)

Book Type: Series/ Trilogy
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Pages: Hannah (book 1) 336 pages
May(book 2) 328 pages
Lucy (book 3) 312 pages

Daughters Of The Sea: HannahSummary of Book One: Hannah:
Hannah is not like other girls in the turn-of-the-century Boston orphanage where she grew up. Instead of seasickness, she gets land sickness. She leaves a ring of salt in the tub when she bathes, and sometimes she sees a faint tracing of scales on her feet. It's freakish, horrifying . . . and deeply thrilling.
Hannah feels a change coming. But she is not the only one who senses it. A young painter recognizes something in Hannah--a connection with the sea that recalls a secret from his own past. A choice lies ahead, and Hannah must discover if she is a creature of the land--or of the sea.


My Review:
Book 1: Hannah
The first book in "Daughters Of The Sea" really sparked my interest in reading this trilogy. Hannah is an orphaned girl with a mysterious past, confused about where she came from and why she is shedding salt out of her skin, and growing scales! What I really like about Hannah is that out of the three sisters, she is curious, kind and motherly, but also strong and determined to understand the sudden changes that are taking over her body. What is ironic, and funny about this first book is that Hannah feels like such a freak, but meanwhile, the house she works in is full of odd people! The romance that occurs this book is very sweet, and the end made me want to pick up the second book! 


Daughters Of The Sea: May

Book 2: May
May's life is slightly different compared to Hannah's. May lives as the daughter of a lighthouse keeper, a life that May finds dull "like a winter's morning." May lives with her mother who is a huge hypochondriac, and her father, who has been the only father figure in May's life. May also has a different personality compared to Hannah. May is strong, fierce and quite clever. She loves to read and learn, which is something women were not supposed to do in the mid-late 1800's. She embraces the change inside of her, sometimes shameful that she is not fully human, but returns to her roots, and wants to seek out where her and her sisters came from. A few romances spark up in this book as well. At times, especially towards the middle and ending I felt this book dragged a bit, but we have more insight into Hannah and May's family. 


                                                           Book 3: Lucy
Daughters Of The Sea: LucyI found this book to be the most interesting one in the series. This book focuses more on how Lucy, the third daughter is caught in an adoptive family who is so focused on status that they will do anything to climb the social latter. This book showed how Lucy, like her other sisters is defiant, bold and tells the outright truth, something that was frowned upon for women in the 1800's. The way that this story is written almost reminds me of "The Great Gatsby," because everyone is just focused on their social stature. It was so interesting to read how Lucy longs to escape the social climbing latter, where people only marry for money and status but not for love. Lucy's romance with Phineas reminds me of my own. My parents were skeptical about my boyfriend because he had piercings, but he is a better boyfriend and best friend than any man with money, which is how Lucy sees her relationship as well. The only thing that irked me a bit about this series was how the sisters know they are mermaids deep down, and how they know they can swim, ect. I wish there was more discovery. The unfortunate part is that this isn't the last book in the series, and I am not sure when the author plans on writing a new book! Stay tuned! So far, I give this series (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Fish Prince and Other Stories: Mermen Folk Tales by Jane Yolen and Shulamith Oppenheim (15)

Book Type: Folk Tales/ Merman stories
Author(s): Jane Yolen and Shulamith Oppenheim
Pages: 224

Summary(amazon.com):
Mermen? Yes. Long before mermaids emerged to people our inner seas, long before they established their restless, inviting niche in human fantasy, there was the merman. Born of the human need to dominate the great fruitful oceans, to control the vast destructive seas, to regulate the healing rains, to understand the tides, the merman emerged.
The merman was water personified. The imposing water gods could be wheedled, cozened, implored, but-in the end-they were never fooled. How often were Poseidon or Neptune, Lir, Njord and the rest pictured riding the waves along inhospitable shores, shaking their magical tridents or spears or fists at the weak, imploring humans on land? The sea gods called up storms or quieted waves. They flooded the lands. They drowned the unwary.

My Review:
On this blog, you will see that I have read one or two of Jane Yolen's books and was quite impressed with her originality and creativity. Although I found this book interesting in some respects, it seemed more like a glossary or an encyclopedia or mermen and ocean/water gods. Although it did include some stories, they were really cut down in detail. What I did like about this book was that it showed a wide variety of cultures from around the world. Overall, I give this book ***-**** between 3 and 4 stars. 
-Sirenita The Selkie

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Something About A Mermaid by Carolyn Polese (14)

Book Type: Children's Book
Author: Carolyn Polese
Pages: 27

Summary(amazon.com):
A mermaid discovered by Janie and her family at the seashore goes home with them to their city apartment.

My Review:

I would just like to start by saying that this book is over 20 years old, and it might be out of print, so finding it could be a challenge. Try checking your local library if you found my review interesting! I really thought the mermaid written in this book was very new and original! She is tiny and small with an otter-like face and she is just so cute! When reading about her I wanted to pull her out of the story and read mermaid books to her! For a children's book, I found something a bit odd. There is one scene where the girl Janie is taking a shower with the mermaid (I guess to replicate the ocean) and shows her partially nude. In another instance, one of the characters says "damn!" I've never seen such things in children's books, but I guess the guidelines were different back then. Overall, I think this book had a really sweet storyline, and the mermaid was precious! If you can find it, give it a read! I give this book (***-****) between 3 and 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Mermaids by Lori Hile (13)

Book Type: Children's Science Book
Author: Lori Hile
Pages: 48

Summary(amazon.com):
Tales of mysterious and alluring mermaids have been told for thousands of years. Are they all just myths and legends, or could some of these stories be true? Using the scientific method and available information, this book attempts to find out!

My Review:
 Out of all the "scientific" mermaid books I have read that are mostly comprised  theories and what not, this one is definitely interesting! What I enjoyed most was the fact that their was a whole chapter on legendary sightings that have occurred throughout hundreds of years. I didn't even hear about some of these sightings, so it is always cool to learn something new about mermaid legends.This book also included possible theories of mermaid existence, such as the aquatic ape theory. Even though this theory remains plausible, the way the author debunked it was a bit weak. The book also includes a small section on Shiloh Pepin and Milagros Cerron, both born with a disease called sirenomelia, a condition in which the skin is joined between the fingers and toes. Unfortunately, this disease can affect major arteries and organs, and Shiloh Pepin succumbed to her disease at the age of 10. However, Milagros Cerron is still alive. The book also goes on to explain how there are mermaid performers and what sailors could have possibly seen at sea. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that the author seemed to be debunking the mystery as much as possible, without leaving much open thought to mermaids possible existence. Overall, I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman (12)

Book Type: Novel
Author: Aimee Friedman
Pages: 320

Summary(amazon.com):\
Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science. . .and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate. There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship. . .and reality.



My Review:
Summer romance, hidden secrets and new friendships are found is what fills the pages of this beautifully-written book. What I enjoyed most about reading "Sea Change" is that the setting was described beautifully, and takes part mostly around the beaches of Selkie Island, which reminds me of my own childhood adventures on Fire Island, Long Island. It was actually very comforting to read before bed! I also enjoyed seeing the transformations of the characters in the book. Miranda has a lot of qualities that I saw in myself when I was her age, especially her geeky-nerd side! She is such a humble person, and it's quite cute that she doesn't even see how beautiful she is. Leo is a character I can see many female readers falling for, especially between the ages of 15-18. He has long blond hair, a well sculpted body, an adorable personality and he's a sweetheart, which makes him a perfect match for Miranda. This cover bothers me though. I don't feel as if I am seeing Leo when I look at the boy on this cover... In fact, I feel like I'm looking at Robert Pattinson!  

I do have to admit though, the many romances that play out in this book were slightly cheesy, but that is to be expected in summer romance. After all, the heat makes people do crazy things! I found the ending to be slightly confusing, and the reader is left wondering, "What's going to happen now?" However, I do think this was a beautifully written book, but I would only recommend it to readers are around the ages of 15-17. I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie
PS: here is the full cover!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lady In The Water by M. Night Shyamalan(11)

Lady In The Water by M. Night ShyamalanBook Type: Children's Book
Author: M. Night Shyamalan
Pages: 64

Summary(amazon.com):
Reveals the narf, a rare sea nymph who lives beneath a swimming pool until she is seen by a person who, after that experience, will someday do something important for the world.

My Review:
"Lady In The Water: A Bedtime Story" is the book based on the 2006 film with the same title. I had seen "Lady In The Water" many times before, but the first time I watched it, I was confused with the plot. However, this book really sums up what the base of the story is without giving away any of the plot from the movie. This book is really charming, and I believe that children and adults alike can enjoy this. I must warn parents now that the movie is rated PG-13, due to some scary parts in the book. This is truly M. Night Shyamalan's best work, in my opinion. I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
PS: check out my movie review here
-Sirenita The Selkie


Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan(10)

The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan
Book Type: Novel
Author: L.K. Madigan
Pages: 320

Summary(amazon.com):
Lena has always been drawn to the sea and has spent her life on the Northern California coast watching her friends surf. As her 16th birthday approaches, she decides she is tired of sitting on the sand and vows to take lessons despite the fact that her father forbids it. The lure of the ocean becomes overwhelming as she starts sleepwalking and waking up at the shore. Then she spots what appears to be a woman's head above the water's surface. Had Lena seen a mermaid? What compelled her father to stop riding the waves and never again set foot in the ocean? 

My Review:

Family secrets, sea magic, surfing and mermaids is what this book is full of! What I really liked most about this book is how L.K. Madigan managed to describe the characters in full detail, and how I was able to picture everything clearly, which is something I really admire about an author's writing style. As the story progresses on, readers will also love digging up the family's secrets with Selena. I have to say though, most of the secrets that were unknown to 
Selena is quite obvious to the reader, which to me, ruined the element of surprise. But don't expect to pick up these secrets right away! The reader has to dig a bit into the book before finding anything out!  This book 

also has plenty of rich romantic moments, and funny lines from various characters. The ending was bittersweet, but very realistic which is something I also liked. Readers who enjoy books about surfing, or mermaids, or both will enjoy a similar book series titled "Tempest Rising" (review coming soon!). Unfortunately, this book was going to be a series, but the author passed before it could be completed. Overall, I give this book (****) 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Hansy's Mermaid by Trinka Hakes Noble(9)

Hansy's Mermaid by Trinka Hakes NobleBook Type: Children's Book
Author: Trinka Hakes Noble
Pages: 31

Summary(amazon.com):
A storm brings a mermaid to a Dutch family that puts her to work for them; but the young son Hansy longs to help her return to her home in the sea.

My Review:

Throughout my years of exploring the depths and hidden treasures of mermaid literature, I have never come across a Dutch mermaid tale! It was pretty interesting to finally pick up something different. I thought overall the storyline was cute and had easy text that wasn't overly juvenile, so adult readers would enjoy it as well. I think the only criticisms I would have is that the story is a bit simple, and forgettable. The illustrations were also very plain, and for a mermaid book, especially one created for children, you would expect the pictures to be vibrant and beautiful, but sadly, they are not. I give this book (**-***) between 2 and 3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard(8)

Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
Book Type: Novel
Author: Mandy Hubbard
Pages: 260

Summary(amazon.com):
Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

My Review:
When I first picked up Ripple from the library, I wasn't sure what it was about, only that it was listed in many mermaid book lists on goodreads, so I said why not? It is actually about a siren, a distant cousin to the mermaid, a creature with no tail but sings to unwary people with a cursed song. I knew I was going to like it as soon as I finished the first chapter. It was full of mysteries and unanswered questions that made me want to know more! At times, this book can be a bit depressing, but Hubbard crafted the storyline in such a way that the moments were beautiful and didn't drag out. What I also liked about the book is that the siren element is written throughout the plot, and the untamed, cursed element of Lexi doesn't go unnoticed. I think readers will enjoy the ending the best though! It was really shocking. I really think this is an awesome book to read for the summer if you are doing a literary challenge. I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

The Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson (7)

The Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson
Book Type: Novel
Author: Sheila A. Nielson
Pages: 296

Summary(amazon.com):
A mermaid haunts Adrianne's dreams . . . is she coming to warn her, save her, or drag her down into the depths of the briny sea forever?

When Adrianne comes face-to-face with the mermaid of Windwaithe Island, of whom she has heard terrible stories all her life, she is convinced the mermaid means to take her younger sister. Adrianne, fierce-willed and courageous, is determined to protect her sister from the mermaid, and her family from starvation. However, the mermaid continues to haunt Adrianne in her dreams and with her song.


My Review:
I have found that this book is listed on many "have-to-read" book lists, but I was disappointed when reading this. When I first began reading this, I was curious to see how the interaction between Adrianne and the mermaid would continue. However, the mermaid does not seem to appear again until the end of the novel. The majority of the novel was learning how horrible Adrianne's life is, how she is verbally abused by her aunt, how her sister gets her way, and how the boy she loves doesn't respond to her feelings. Throughout the book I was left searching for the mermaid, but she seemed to be a side character to me. What I also did not enjoy about this book was the way the mermaids were described. They almost reminded me of elf-like woodland creatures, which is not how I pictured mermaids to be. All of this being said, I think the storyline was lovely, and the ending is a bit shocking! I give this book (***-****) between 3 and 4 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Sunday, May 26, 2013

I AM Against Captivity for Marine Mammals and Other Life

A HUGE injury caused by the stress of captivity
Hello mer-readers!
I know I havent really talked about my personal beliefs much on this blog, but its time I start. Only recently have I recognized what horrible conditions marine mammals, and other animals that are featured in zoos and aquariums, live in. It is absolutlely mind-blowing how big time corporations such as Sea World and Busch Gardens treat there animals, and how the obtain them! Please, do not pull the wool over your eyes and take a look at these links. They are very informative and show ways which you can help animals like the orca.




1) http://freedomforwhales.tumblr.com/
           -Features many petitions, videos and online discussions

2) http://theorcaproject.wordpress.com/
         -Another great site that conistently posts information about what goes on behind stage at Sea    
         World

3)http://www.keepwhaleswild.org/whales-in-the-wild.php
      -Shows how many trainers have been injured, external links, and wild whale videos

4) The last link I want you to check out is a link for a book. This book astounded me. Unfortunately due to time restraints I could not finish the entire book, but I finished a majority of it and was horrified at what I saw. Here is the book:

Due to the many bacterial infections, along with stress,
Orcas have to have their teeth drilled, or sometimes they are
broken off from the concrete of their tank
http://deathatseaworld.com/?author=1

I think we all remembered the incident with the trainer Dawn Brancheau and the whale named Tilikum, who has killed three trainers in the past. These animals are suffering mentally and physically, and they are beginning to lash out against the people who are supposed to keep them healthy. Please do your research, and most importantly, DO NOT VISIT ANY MARINE PARKS OR ZOOS! Instead, support local santuaries that either nurse animals back to health or take in abused animals. If I could get at least one person to investigate a bit for themselves, I would be grateful.
Thank you.
-Sirenita The Selkie
Freedom doesnt cost money to see! :)



Home To The Sea by Chester Aaron(6)

Home To The Sea by Chester AaronBook Type: Novel
Author: Chester Aaron
Pages: 125

Summary(amazon.com):

Strange changes begin for twelve-year-old Marian as she starts to understand a secret her mother and her grandmother already know. Why don't they tell her?
And how a couple of years later, can Marian, who has never had a swimming lesson, be known world-wide, wooed by college swim coaches and Sports Illustrated for their cover as a world-class Olympic swimmer? Why does she hear inhuman voices calling her to the sea? What on earth is happening to her?


My Review:
Although this book features one of the most iconic mermaids in history, "The Little Mermaid Of Denmark" on the cover, the story in this book was very boring and didn't have much mermaid-ness. First off, Marian doesn't really begin her changes until the middle and end of the book, and it was a very slowly dragging out. There also wasn't much of a plot to begin with, and the characters seemed muddled together. What I also noticed that other people on GoodReads.com noticed was that the way Marian and her friend Kathy talked to each other. Their dialogue did not mature or change from when they were 12 years old and grew to 19! I also felt this book was very depressing. At first when Marian began changing, I thought that her transforming into a mermaid was a metaphor for her dying from a sickness, but that wasn't the case. The author seemed to write her metamorphosis in a very depressing manor. Another thing that bothered me was that there were too many unanswered questions to Marian's heritage. I do like one part of the book towards the middle, when Marian rides a whale. It was a beautiful moment. However, there are plenty of other mermaid books out there that are much better, and I give this book only (**) 2 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Merman by Dick King-Smith (5)

The Merman by Dick King-SmithBook Type: Children's Literature
Author: Dick King-Smith
Pages: 112

Summary(amazon.com):
While vacationing in Scotland, Zeta meets a rather unusual fellow. He's a terrific swimmer. He chats with seals. And he has a fish tail. Marinus is a merman -- definitely not your average summer friend. Who else could teach Zeta everything from swimming to astronomy to French? Everything's an adventure when Marinus is around, and as the summer ends, Zeta knows she'll miss her new friend terribly.
Luckily, Marinus has one last surprise in store for her -- one that will last a lifetime. . .
.

My Review:
I had read one of Dick King-Smith's books before tittled "The Waterhorse"(I will be making a blog on sea monsters soon too!) and I absolutely adored it. Since I first picked up this book last night and began reading it, I just couldn't put it down. It was very charming and I loved the teacher-student relationship that Zeta and Marinus had, and how he taught and showed her so many things that enhanced her knowledge. I also loved that the author chose a merman instead of a mermaid, since most stories featuring a female human almost always has a mermaid. It was a different element that I had never seen before. What I liked most about this book was that it was simple and had a very nice plot, but the ending was bittersweet. I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Dear Mermaid by Alan Durant (4)

Dear Mermaid by Alan DurantBook Type: Children's Book
Author: Alan Durant
Pages: 32

Summary(amazon.com):
On her first day of vacation, Holly finds a mermaid’s purse on the beach. She wants to give it back, but has a few questions for the mermaid first. Imagine how thrilled Holly is the next day to find the purse again, with a letter inside — and a request to help find a mysterious gold key!

My Review:
As I had expected, this book was just way too much glitter and girliness for my taste. The mermaid is very coloful and bright and she reminds me of a fairy instead of a mermaid. However, I did think it was very cute that there were letters for children to pull out and enjoy! Unfortunately, when I picked up my copy from the library, the letters were all mixed up so it was a little confusing to understand what was going on. Overall, this book was cute, but a little too juvenile for adult readers to enjoy. I give this book (**-***) 2-3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie

Mermaids 101 by Doreen Virtue (3)

Mermaids 101 by Doreen VirtueBook Type: Mermaid history and info/ spiritual
Author: Doreen Virtue
Pages:176

Summary(amazon.com):
Mermaids are powerful and graceful inhabitants of the waters who can teach us about harnessing the unconscious mind’s ability to attract, create, and manifest . . . while having a fun and playful life! In this latest entry into her best-selling 101 book series (which include Angels 101, Archangels 101, and Fairies 101), Doreen Virtue gives you the fascinating history of mermaids and mermen from Atlantis and beyond.
  You’ll read about people’s true experiences with mermaids, and learn how you can unleash more manifestation power by tapping into your inner merperson. You’ll also see images of ancient and modern mermaids, including photos and descriptions of men and women who wear neoprene mermaid tails and swim in oceans, pools, and lakes alongside whales, dolphins, and other wildlife. Mermaids 101 is a wonderful reference guide for anyone who is fascinated with this magical underwater world.

My Review:
Have you ever had strange underwater dreams that you could not explain? Or maybe you question if humans evolved from some type of aquatic species? The answers await you in "Mermaids 101". Readers, I cannot express how mind-boggling this book was and how it answers so many questions about possible theories. My boyfriend is into conspiracy theories about the origin of humans, and I was blown away when reading all of the possibilities that actually make sense! There were theories that I have never even heard of before. I was very surprised when reading this book; I honestly thought it was just going to explain more myths and legends that I have read before, however, there are theories about incarnated dolphins, the aquatic ape theory and so much more! In addition to that, there are stories about people having visions of mermaid dreams, and about "mermaiding" or swimming in a mermaid tail. There are also plenty of beautiful photographs of some of the mermaids currently swimming about today. I really enjoyed reading this, and I am so happy I bought it. It will make a lovely addition to my mer-library! I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie


Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Little Mermaid by Katie Thamer Treherne (2)

The Little Mermaid by Katie Thamer Treherne
 Book Type: Children's Book
Author: Katie Thamer Treherne
Pages: 48

Summary(amazon.com):
In this beloved classic, a little mermaid falls in love with a prince she has saved from a shipwreck and yearns to become human so she can marry him. Full-color illustrations.

My Review:

A captivating classic with beautiful illustrations; this is what this book is all about. The story by Hans Christian Anderson is preserved in this book with the original text. As I have mentioned in other reviews on "The Little Mermaid", the original text can be a little strange or difficult for children to understand. What most children are interested in, are the great illustrations, which this book is full of! The illustrations in this book are brightly colored and match perfectly with every mood going on. The mermaids are also spectacular and gorgeous! I love the colors of the tails and scales. Take a look: 


I think the only thing that parents should be concerned with is that in some illustrations the mermaids arent wearing shells and that their breasts are exposed.What I mostly appreciate about this book is that the author stuck to the original text of the story, and created beautiful illustrations. I give this book (*****) 5 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie