Swim and Splash with Mermaids

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Swim and Splash with Mermaids

Picture Books about the Daughters of the Sea

Mermaids. Who hasn't been fascinated with these fantastic creatures of legendary folklore? For the child in your life who can't get enough, here is a list of picture books that feature mermaids. For example, one mermaid loves to explore and another mermaid loves to perform. One mermaid convinces a pirate to talk his way out of a difficult situation, rather than fight his way out of it. Another mermaid follows the courage of her convictions to stand up to a devious troll. Yet another mermaid saves the day by participating in a swim meet, and Hans Christian Andersen's mermaid makes the ultimate sacrifice.

The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell: This book has absolutely stunning illustrations. It tells the story of Minnow, one of King Neptune's daughters who, unlike her sisters, is not good at gardening, singing, or teaching fish. But Minnow is very curious and constantly asks questions, such as "Why don't crabs have fins?" and "Where do bubbles go?" One day Minnow finds a shoe, but neither she nor her sisters have any idea what it is. She goes off on a journey to find out what it is and discovers her talent: exploring. For ages 3 to 7. 

Aqualicious by Victoria Kann is a fun and light-hearted story about a girl named Pinkalicious who finds a merminnie (a miniature mermaid) named Aqua inside a seashell. Aqua spends the day with Pinkalicious and her brother, Peter. Throughout the day, Aqua samples human food, goes miniature golfing, and teaches Pinkalicious how to surf. When Aqua gets picked up by a seagull, Peter's quick thinking saves her. However, when it's time for Aqua to go home, both Pinkalicious and Peter are surprised to find that her home is not in the sea. The illustrations are vivid and colorful. Pinkalicious's bright pink dress matches the color of Aqua's hair. For ages 4 to 8. 

The Skeleton Pirate by David Lucas is the story of a pirate who "will never be beaten!" until he is. He is stuck inside the belly of a whale with a beautiful mermaid who suggests talking instead of fighting. The mermaid's suggestion saves the day, and the pirate and the mermaid sail away on a golden ship filled with treasures as the whale opens his mouth wide to let them through. The illustrations are done in a comic book style. For ages 3 to 7. 

Princess Fishtail by Frances Minters is a charming story of a mermaid who rescues a handsome surfer. She makes a bargain with a suspicious troll to exchange her fishtail for two legs. Not surprisingly, the troll is not to be trusted and when she tries to get her tail back, the troll asks her for her voice. The mermaid decides she need to learn how to swim to get back home, and so the charming surfer gives her a scuba suit and hires someone to teach her how to swim. Together, Burt and the mermaid go back to visit her family. The illustrations are in a colorful cartoon style. For ages 3 to 8. 

Mermaid Dreams by Mark Sperring. At first, this book seems to be a simple story about a little girl getting ready for bed. The girl has spent the day at the beach and has a shell and seaweed in her hair. However, when her mother asks her how deep in the ocean she dove, she tells her that she went down to where the starfish live and deeper. That's when the reader realizes that Meriam is not an ordinary girl. At the end of the story, the reader finds out the Meriam is a mermaid. The illustrations are bright and colorful. They engage the reader and draw the reader into Meriam's world. For ages 3 to 5. 

The Mermaid's Lullaby by Kate Spohn. This is a comfortable and soothing bedtime story about mermaids who are getting their mermaid babies ready for a good night's sleep. This book would be excellent to read to babies and toddlers. The illustrations are in beautiful pastels with gold glitter. For ages 2 to 5. 

The Mystery in the Bottle by Val Willis is an amusing tale of a boy who goes to the seashore one day and finds a very small mermaid in a green bottle. He takes her home and puts her in the sink. She outgrows that so he puts her in the bathtub. He asks her for help to win a swimming race at his school. She goes to the school, participates in the swim meet, and hilarity ensues! The illustrations are old-fashioned, but beautiful. The expressions on Bobby's face are comical and expressive. For ages 3 to 8. 

Donnatalee by Erika Tamar tells the story of a young girl who imagines she is a mermaid.When she visits the ocean with her family, she tells herself, "If a love a fish with all my heart, my legs will disappear. I'll have a shimmering tail of blue and green scales." She imagines swimming with a goldfish and a host of other adventures, culminating in being crowned as King Neptune's queen. When she finally leaves the beach and arrives back home with her family, she presses a seashell against her ear and is Donnatalee the mermaid again. The illustrations in this book are bright, vivid, and colorful and were done in oil on Strathmore Illustration board. For ages 4 to 8. 

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen is the original tale that inspired the Disney version, with a bittersweet ending unlieke the movie's happily ever after. This is a good book for a read aloud, but only an older child would be able to read it by herself or himself. The little mermaid makes a bargain with the sea witch for the opportunity to live life on land, win the heart of the prince, and gain an immortal soul. She does not win the heart of the prince, but does get a chance at gaining an immortal soul. The illustrations are beautiful and have an old-fashioned charm. Ages 3 and up. 

Babar and Zephir by Jean De Brunhoff is the tale of a brave monkey, Zephir,  who sets off to rescue the monkey princess who has been captured by a monster named Polomoche. Polomoche likes to capture individuals whom he likes and thinks will amuse him. The mermaid, Eleonore, only has a supporting role in this story, but it is an important one. She takes him to where her Aunt Crustadele lives and her aunt tells the monkey where the monster is. When Zephir saves the princess, Isabelle, Eleonore takes them both back home. The illustrations are whimsical and welcoming, matching the theme of the story. Ages 3 to 7.