Saturday, June 2, 2018

"The Mermaid Who Couldn't" - a bookwrap


Authored by Ali Redford
Illustrated by Kara Simpson

Age Range:  4-9
Grade Level:  PS-4
Publisher:  Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Language: English

Editorial Reviews

The little mermaid's journey is captivating as she moves from feeling lost and lonely to finding friends and discovering her voice. This is such an important message, beautifully told, for children who lack self worth and feel that they have nothing about them worthy of love. The Mermaid Who Couldn't' is a moving story of hope! -- Jay Vaughan, Family Futures Clinical Director

 The Mermaid Who Couldn't is a powerful and beautifully illustrated story for children and adults alike, reminding us that even in the depths of self-doubt and despair, the capacity for change can come from something as simple as an act of kindness and a helping hand. -- Rita Soronen, President & CEO, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

 Themes of belonging, perseverance and hope, gently lap over this rich and poetic tale. A beautiful gem of a book that will delight and encourage all little mermaids learning to sing a different song and those helping them to learn. I heartily recommend it. -- Sally Donovan OBE, author of No Matter What and The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting

Unwrapping some wonderful illustrations for you to enjoy

About the book

This is a story of inspiration and hope.  A lonely little mermaid is abandoned on the floor of the ocean by her careless mother.  She lives off bones and scraps, tries to hide from hideous creatures that lurk in the shadows, and never laughs or plays. Sadly she can barely swim.  Her name is Mariana and she feels totally thrown- away,  forgotten and useless.

She tries to escape her dire circumstances but alas she has no sense of self-worth and she believes she is doomed forever.  One day she is scooped up in a fisherman's net.  He takes one look at the terrified mermaid and throws her back into the deep.  Oh my! 

"I can't even be caught," she thought. 

On her downward spiral to the bottom of the sea a passing turtle named Muriel picks her up and she and her family totally transform Mariana's life into something positive and good.  Muriel befriends the heartsick little mermaid,  grooms her beautifully, feeds her properly and teaches her to how to swim and find her own song.   Then the kind turtle introduces Mariana to other mermaids hoping they will accept her into their pod.  Mariana seems ready to integrate.  She feels confident after all the love that has been bestowed upon her.  Will her miraculous transformation be enough to get her accepted into the coveted mermaid group she so longs to be a part of?  

"The Mermaid Who Couldn't" teaches the reader that love is a very powerful entity and when we receive love and care nothing is impossible for us achieve.  This book is a wonderful catalyst to discuss with children subjects of neglect, empowerment and most of all the power of love.  I highly recommend this book.  It would be a wonderful addition to a classroom and a school library as well. 

Storywraps Rating -  5 HUGS!!!!!

Meet the author

Ali Redford believes in the power of the arts to encourage children and young people to face and start to overcome past trauma. She writes children's books which combine simple storylines and identifiable, young characters with poignant imagery, beautiful illustrations and a necessary expression of hurt.

Ali is the daughter of a soldier who often wondered what on earth she was up to. Perhaps surprisingly, she really enjoyed boarding school, until she lost her sister and her mum forever as a teenager. She dealt with these traumatic events by putting on plays, reading great books, cutting her hair short, going on marches and, eventually, getting some therapy. Meanwhile, she worked, in a somewhat random fashion, as an actor, teacher and a marketing and events numpty. She met her husband while teaching English in Istanbul. Nothing could have prepared either of them for the shock and awe of adoptive parenthood.

Ali's books are mainly inspired by the experiences of her much-loved children, adopted from care, and by the need for more inspirational stories for others like them who have been through a whole heap of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). She hopes her stories will also be appreciated by any child, young person or adult who feels sad, lonely, fearful, angry or ashamed, for whatever reason.

The beauty of the books is provided by Kara Simpson, whose dark, quirky and totally empathetic illustrations perfectly complement Ali's elemental, lyrical stories.

Strange fact: Before meeting in a school yard in Plumstead, Ali and Kara were married at exactly the same time, on the same date, in different places, to different people who now play occasional golf together.Ali ALie 

About the illustrator 

After studying Fine Art/Sculpture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, I came to London and did a Masters in Design for Interactive Media at Middlesex University. Here I acquired a love of Photoshop and all its possibilites. I recently illustrated a children's book written by Ali Redford, The Boy Who Built a Wall Around Himself. Hopefully the first of many published works.

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