The Mermaid Who Couldn’t Review

Synopsis from Jessica Kingsley Publishers’ Website:

Mariana the Mermaid is not like the other mermaids. Abandoned by a careless mother on the ocean floor, she has never laughed or played, and can barely even swim. She feels useless.

Then she meets Muriel the Turtle, who welcomes her into her family and teaches her to sing her own mighty song, making her feel confident and ready to join in with the other mermaids.

Written for children aged 4+, this picture book uses a simple metaphor to show how children who have experienced neglect or who lack confidence can learn to find a sense of self-worth. It will help children explore their feelings and encourage communication.

About: The Mermaid Who Couldn’t: How Mariana Overcame Loneliness and Shame and Learned to Sing Her Own Song! is a children’s picture book written by Ali Redford and illustrated by Kara Simpson. It will be published on 5/21/18 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, hardcover, 32 pages. The genres are children’s book, picture book, adoption, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 4 to 9. According to Jessica Kingsley Publishers’ website, they are “a wholly independent company, committed to publishing books that make a difference.” It was founded in 1987 in London by Jessica Kingsley and has grown since then to now publishing over 250 books a year and recently in 2004 opened a US office in Philadelphia. Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.

My Experience: I started reading The Mermaid Who Couldn’t for my 6 years old son as a bedtime story on 4/4/18 and we finished it that same night. This book is excellent for kids! I like the power of a helping hand. I like the difference it makes when Mariana is surrounded by love and encouragement. I like that Muriel offer to help and introduce Mariana to her family and how they all embrace Mariana. I like how welcoming the group of mermaids are when Muriel brought Mariana to them.

In this book, readers will follow Mariana, a lonely mermaid who grew up without parents or friends. She doesn’t know how to swim and afraid of everything around her. She doesn’t have any confidence to sing and often feel useless. One day she was caught in a fisherman’s net. The fisherman tossed her into sea and Muriel the turtle rescued her. The turtle introduced her to a group of singing mermaids but Mariana didn’t feel safe and couldn’t sing. She felt even more miserable as she fell back into the dark ocean. She pounded her fist onto a rock feeling upset, but the rock turns out to be Muriel. Muriel then took care of Mariana, find her food and shelter and taught her how to swim. As time went on and Mariana began to feel loved, she grew more confident to sing and join the group of mermaids originally introduced by Muriel.

This book has a good message about the damage kids goes through when they grow up without families and friends or a support system. I like the reminder of how much of a difference it makes when people reach out to help those in need. The illustrations of this book presents a miserable feeling of being useless and afraid, though at the end, she’s happier but the color of the sea is still so dark. I like the message this book brings to readers. I like that help in this case comes in the form of a turtle instead of Mariana’s own kinds, a mermaid. It reminds readers that we shouldn’t discriminate who we can offer to help, just as long as we are open to offer to help or receive help. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!

Pro: a helping hand, encouragement, friends,

Con: dark colors

I rate it 5 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping: Book Depository or Jessica Kingsley Publishers

About the Author:

Ali Redford is an adoptive parent of siblings who has worked in education, theatre and marketing. She has been through a lot of family therapy and, on a good day, seems to be coming out the other side, touch wood.

Kara Simpson is a freelance illustrator and mother of two. (Author & illustrator info obtained from Edelweiss).

More Information about Jessica Kingsley Publishers

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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Jessica Kingsley Publishers for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.


6 thoughts on “The Mermaid Who Couldn’t Review

  1. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    I really like the message behind this one. At first I thought it would be super sad and depressing, which a kid’s book should never be, but then I realised it wasn’t that at all – it was hopeful and uplifting and that’s so important! I’m glad you enjoyed this one and I agree, it would have been so much better with a different palette. But then again, maybe they used it as a way to convey the “darkness” of the mermaid’s soul? However, if that was the purpose then they should have gradually changed the colours to warmer, happier tones throughout Mariana’s healing.
    Anyway, great review Jasmine! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jasmine says:

      I like the way you describe the background colors Sophie. You should’ve review this book! haha.. But yes, if the colors gradually changed to happier tones, I would have loved the illustrations a lot more. The message of this book is important, so that’s what matters most. Thanks for stopping by Sophie! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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