THE MERMAID AND THE MAJOR by Francisco Melendez


or, The True Story of the Invention of the Submarine
by & translated by & by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 & up
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 A Spanish aristocrat, Major Michelangelo Monday, has spent a lifetime devising clever war machinery. In retirement, his creative urge persists, spurred by love for a skinny, bare- bosomed mermaid who points out that they're incompatible. Undeterred, the major contrives first a submarine (``How are we going to get married if you are locked up inside a tin can?''), then some innovative surgery that enables the match, which proves to be unhappy. This very European, and rather adult, satirical fable received ``the national prize for illustration by Spain's Ministry of Culture''; the art, which makes sly references to Spanish greats from Vel†zquez to Dali, is skillfully executed, including both intriguing calligraphic drawings and whimsical surreal paintings of the many fantastical inventions. A handsome, offbeat volume for a few special readers. (Fiction. 8+)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-8109-3619-4
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1991