Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Mermaid by Cerrie Burnell and Laura Ellen Anderson (Bloomsbury Children's Books)


Written by Cerrie Burnell

Illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson

Published by Bloomsbury Children's Books

Cerrie Burnell may well be known for her awesome TV work but she's also a bit of an awesome children's author as well. Her last children's book "Snowflakes" was a brilliant and inclusive book full of seasonal joy and wonder. Teaming up with Laura Ellen Anderson once again, Cerrie and Laura's latest book "Mermaid" traces the story of a young boy named Luka who lives by the sea. He longs to swim but doesn't know how to, his family are a bit apprehensive about him learning to swim too but the boy is determined that one day he'll dive and paddle along with the best of them.

When out walking along the beach one day, Luka sees a young girl diving and splashing amongst the waves. Luka soon finds out that the girl's name is Sylvia and very kindly she offers to help Luka learn to swim.

Luka also finds out that Sylvia is a new girl at his school so he helps her fit in, telling everyone about her amazing swimming abilities. Children want to know why Sylvia is in a wheelchair, and Luka points out that it's because she's actually a mermaid! How cool is that?

Writing a fabulous inclusive story that taps into a child's sense of wonder and simultaneously relates a tale that helps children deal with their own inner fears and also a child's natural curiosity about children who are different from themselves is a heck of a neat trick, achieved brilliantly here thanks to Cerrie's thoughtful storytelling and Laura's dazzling and sparkly illustrations. Though Charlotte claims to be "over the whole princess thing" she still has a gigantic soft spot for mermaids, and it's really wonderful to find a hugely original story that helps with Charlotte's own fears of learning and trying new things too.

Charlotte's best bit: Luka introducing Sylvia to all his curious and inquisitive classmates at school.

Daddy's Favourite bit: A hugely positive and joyous book from a very talented twosome!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Bloomsbury Children's Books)

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