Madeline the Mermaid, by Anna Fienberg & Ann James

Madeline was a mermaid. She had a silvery tail like a fish, and shells shone in her wild yellow hair. Every day she swam and dived and ducked through the waves, and at night she headed home to the coral reefs of the sea.
Madeline lived in a conch shell with her merdog called Byron and her mercat called Bella.

Madeline lives where all mermaids should, under the sea. She’s happy and healthy and bright, despite rumours and legends that paint mermaids as having ‘wild, wicked ways’. There’s only one thing not-perfect in her life, and it’s a big thing. Literally. There’s a Kraken living on the other side of the world. He’s scared of the dark. There are stories told about him too, and although he says the stories are rubbish, no one is game to come close enough to hear him. Now he wants Madeline’s light and he’s coming to get it. There are four linked mini-adventures in Madeline the Mermaid. Scattered throughout are both colour and black-and-white illustrations, in Ann James’ trademark gentle loose lines and watercolours.

What a life to be leading! Living under the sea and having your own merdog and mercat. Madeline seems to have it made, but there are challenges in her world. First there’s the Kraken, then there are puffer fish, harpies and sea witches. Madeline finds ways to calm the rocky waters of the undersea with gentle humour and a tiny touch of magic. This collection of stories is as refreshing as being at the beach on a hot summer day, when the cool change arrives. Perfect as a read-to, particularly with each ‘chapter’ being complete in itself. Recommended to for independent readers and lovers of mermaids and the sea.

Madeline the Mermaid

Madeline the Mermaid, Anna Fienberg Ann James
Allen&Unwin 2010
ISBN: 9781742372280

Reviewed by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased in good bookstores or online at Fishpond.