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review 2018-07-25 21:38
There Was An Old Mermaid Who Swallowed a Shark!
There Was An Old Mermaid Who Swallowed a Shark - Lucille Colandro
This children’s book is just like the traditional, “I know an old lady who…….” but this book has a slight twist. This book is educational and it is filled with ocean creatures and has more sentences inside than the traditional book of its nature. This book has more meat to it, more substance, and I feel that I enjoyed it more. I did have to slow down to read it which took a bit out of me since I usually have a rhythm down when I read this type of book.
 
This book begins when the old mermaid swallows a shark and “it left no mark” and then, on the next page we learn a bit more about sharks. The old mermaid then, swallows a squid, “that’s what she did!” and she did that to float with the shark, because I guess the shark was lonely. The book continues on with a fish, an eel, a crab, and a few other ocean creatures until the very end. Through the book, we learn about the various creatures the old mermaid swallows in cute, rhyming sentences. At the back of the book, there is a two-page spread with detail information about the various water creatures the book mentions. There is also a Search and Find in the back pages, allowing readers to search back through the book to find other creatures that are located in the ocean. By matching the pictures/words on these two pages to where the creatures are located in the book.
 
The illustrations in this book are bright and colorful and I liked the size of this book, as it’s easy to grasp. The old mermaid is looks exciting and happy as she swims about in the ocean. I think the educational information provided in the novel is worthy and not overwhelming. The book has a great flow and it’s a fun book to read and look at.

 

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review 2018-06-26 20:00
5 Out Of 5 "lonely eyes" STARS
The Mermaid - Christina Henry

 

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Mermaid

Christina Henry

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Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn't bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

 

  1. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he'd heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

 

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he's determined to hold on to his mermaid. 

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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This was truly fantastic!  A beguiling, slightly fantastical tale about a curious mermaid, and where her curiosity took her.  Taking us from the coast of Maine to New York, Charleston and beyond. Amelia, the name she picked for herself, is haunting and alluring and you can't help but love her.

 

Centered around a reimagining of a hoax played by P.T. Barnum about the Feejee Mermaid, in early 1840's New York, with a tour ending in Charleston, SC.

 

 -Advertisement for the Feejee Mermaid from the Charleston Courier, January 1843

 

The Mermaid is a story about what it means to be human or humane, actually.  It's also about love, friendships, and loyalty. I highly recommend.

 

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~MY RATING~

5STARS - GRADE=A+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 5+/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5

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Book Cover~ It's very good

Publisher~ Berkley Publishing

Setting~ New York City, 1840's

Source~ I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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review 2018-06-22 13:03
The Mermaid by Christina Henry
The Mermaid - Christina Henry
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this book and thought it was well done. I do have to say that this book was a little different than I expected. That isn't a bad thing since I like being surprised by the books that I am reading. I loved Christina Henry's previous book, Lost Boy, so I was really excited to see what she would do with this mermaid tale. I found the book to be incredibly well written and quite entertaining.

One of the reasons that this book may have surprised me a bit is due to the fact that my mermaid knowledge is quite limited. I have watched the Disney movie more times than I can count but that is really my total mermaid experience. I did see a few similarities between this book and the Disney film but only at the very start of the story.

I liked Amelia and thought her view of the world was quite refreshing. While women around her concerned themselves with the opinions of others and propriety, Amelia cared little about how others saw her. She did not want to see anyone come to harm and really had a very kind heart. I loved her relationship with P.T. Barnum's young daughter, Caroline, and wife, Charity. Levi and Barnum were both great characters as well. Barnum always had dollar signs in his eyes and didn't always do the right thing but I was impressed that he would back down in certain situations. Levi wanted to protect Amelia and it was quite obvious how much he cared for her.

As I mentioned this book wasn't quite what I thought it would be. Based on my experience reading Lost Boy, I expected a much darker story. As I read, I kept thinking about all the evil things that could potentially happen but I just couldn't guess the turns this book would make since it went in a completely different direction than I thought it would. In some ways the story made me sad. It is terrible the way that human beings will treat each other not to mention animals in our care. I also think it would have been very hard to be a woman during this period of time.

I would recommend this book to others. It was a nice combination of fantasy and historical fiction seen through the eyes of a mermaid that is often more human than those around her. I look forward to reading more from Christina Henry very soon.

I received an digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This was good. A little different than I had expected it to be but very good. I liked Ameila and thought that the way she looked at the world was somewhat refreshing. 

ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Full review to be posted soon.

 

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video 2018-04-11 20:46

Mermaid May! Some mermaid related books I want to read for a themed reading month. (Also some extra books for book clubs.)

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review 2018-03-08 02:30
A historical fairy tale that has gone straight on to my favorites list, and I’m not usually big on fairy tales OR mermaids! Christina Henry has written something special here
The Mermaid - Christina Henry

'The Mermaid' has immediately gone onto my favorites list, so I can tell you right away that this book is an absolute treat.
When I grabbed my early copy of it at Emerald City Con at the weekend, I hadn't heard it was coming out, so I certainly didn't harbor any expectations for it, and to be honest, I'm not even a big fan of fairytale retellings. Plus I had to dispel any recent images of killer mermaids I still had in my head after reading 'Into the Drowning Deep’ by Mira Grant, and I thought this would be the perfect way to do that.

'The Mermaid' is a historical fairy tale about a mermaid who wasn't content enough with life in the ocean so she decided that life on land, with a man called Jack, who she feels is the love of her life, was where she needed to be. Amelia was able to come and go from the sea as she pleased, and it seemed as though her life was everything she needed it to be...until Jack grew old (and she didn't). She was then discovered by the great P.T. Barnum. The same P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey Circus Company, who is famous for coining the phrase "There's a sucker born every minute."

That's where Amelia's life completely changed, and the story of the mermaid becomes loosely based off the 'Feejee Mermaid' hoax that Barnum orchestrated. Author Christina Henry obviously did a lot of research to include details about Joice Heth and Tom Thumb (reading the novel will make this all clear!); I found all of this, and all Barnum's various 'humbugs' to be absolutely fascinating (and shocking).

Through the eyes of Amelia, who is essentially a stranger, 'an alien' to this foreign modern world that is New York circa 1840, she questions all sorts of things: why wear all the silly trappings of clothes, why are women not afforded the same rights as men, why are animals treated so poorly, why are people who are not white or Christian 'savages', and so on. And she dares to question her new 'employer' Barnum*, who basically is raking in the dough with her mermaid exhibit.
*I have no idea what to make of P.T.Barnum as a person or character, but Henry does say this rendition is the one that suits her story.

There is so much to love about this book: the wonderful characters who fit within the actual mold that was cast, but who now have been brought to life, the writing of Henry's that seems to flow so beautifully and seems so befitting of the time, and all the questions and ideas that spring off the pages through the character of the mermaid Amelia.
And then there's the idea of the mermaid herself, something we think we have an idea about, and here it is done again; I felt like what I was reading was subtle and ethereal, and in the way that that Amelia was trying to show her reality within the book to others, I was being made to believe it too. There are also themes of sadness, loss, and longing, new love, and acceptance, in the book, and I felt those emotions from the characters clearly. It was wonderful to read all of that and move along with the feelings like waves.

Absolutely wonderful book. I already want to own whatever special edition is made. And the Funko Pop.

I received free books from Penguin Random House in exchange for this review. Thank you!

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