Title: Mermaid School
Author: Lucy Courtenay
Illustrator: Sheen Dempsey
Publisher: Andersen Press
Genre: Children’s fiction
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: It is Marine Blue’s first day at Mermaid School, and she’s worried.  What if she can’t make any friends?  Or has to ride a seahorse?  And what will the teachers think when they find out that her aunt is Christabel Blue, the famous singer and DJ but also the naughtiest mermaid in the school’s history?
Marine’s determined to make a good impression, but the Bue family are never far away from trouble…

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a lovely story and one that I’m sure lots of kids, especially girls will love! Marnie Blue is worried about her first day at mermaid school. Her famous aunt Christobel Blue had a reputation at school and Marnie’s worried about how the teachers, and other mermaids, will treat her. And while she does manage to make some friends, it seems there’s someone at the school that doesn’t like Marnie at all.

Mermaid School book cover image
©The Strawberry Post – Look at those silvery shiny details!

 

This is a lovely story with quite a simple plot but one I really did enjoy reading. ‘Mermaid School’ is a typical tale about a girl finding it hard to fit in on her first day at school, and it’s a story that lots of children can relate to. Even though Marnie is a mermaid and there are lots of references to things that are in the sea, the story itself is so relatable because Marnie is like any other girl attending her first day at school, and really just wants to fit in at the school and be liked. Unfortunately for her, her aunt’s reputation for being a bit of trouble maker is strong, and it isn’t long before Marnie finds herself the centre of attention for the wrong reasons.

Mermaid School book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

 

I really did enjoy this story, all the more because of how well thought out all the mermaid details are. Everything from the school (in a cave) to the furniture, food and lighting is all something to do with the sea, such as fish used as lamps, or a clam shell bed, moss pillow, etc. I love how these details have been mentioned, it makes the whole story all the more lovely and the illustrations on almost every page really added to how lovely the whole story felt.

There are pictures throughout the whole book, on almost every double page. There are also illustrated chapter headers, page numbers and a lovely map at the beginning. All the pictures are a mix of black, white and grey and I love how clear and fun everything looks and all the detail included in each image, like the shells in Marnie’s hair. This story really feels much more fun and lovely to read because of the cute pictures and I can’t help but love the cover too which features some shiny silvery parts. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the story as much without these added illustrations.

Mermaid School book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

 

The whole story has a satisfying ending and a fun twist in the very last chapter, which although I did predict, may not be spotted by younger readers, and it certainly does make me want to read more about one character in particular (though I don’t know if we will in future books). The story of what happens to Marnie and how the whole book ends is very good and I like the way that Marnie thinks and acts towards everyone, and I like the message of friendship and being nice to others regardless of what may happen.

Mermaid School book page image three
©The Strawberry Post

 

This really has been a lovely read and I’m so excited to hear that this is the first in a series of ‘Mermaid School’ books. I really can’t wait for more and would recommend this book for anyone interested.


What do you think of the story and illustrations?  Do you or your children like mermaids?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂