THE LITTLE MERMAID by Hannah Eliot

THE LITTLE MERMAID

From the "Once Upon a World" series
adapted by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

This board-book version of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is set in the Caribbean.

Eliot’s adaptation eliminates some of the more-disturbing plot elements in Andersen’s original, making it feel much closer to the Disney version but with brown-skinned humans and merfolk. Once she’s been given her feet, the Little Mermaid does not feel as though she’s walking on glass and she is not motivated by a desire for an immortal soul, but the heroine still sacrifices her voice, her birth family, and her agency for the love of a rather clueless prince. The Caribbean setting is a good choice for a story in which the sea features prominently. Ortiz’s lush illustrations reflect her Puerto Rican heritage. The sea witch, with her pointy nose, red lips, sharp-angled eyes, hoop earrings, and colorful headwrap is reminiscent of the vejigante masks that are part of carnival in Puerto Rico. However, the small trim size does a disservice to the art. The story has been simplified, but with four to seven lines of text per page, it is still too long for the board-book audience. As with other titles in the series, a larger, picture-book format would help this tale find a receptive audience of school-age children who are able to critique the subtext of the classic story even as they appreciate this version’s gorgeous original art.

Another format-audience mismatch for the Once Upon a World series. (Board book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Dec. 18th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5344-3575-9
Page count: 24pp
Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2019




MORE BY HANNAH ELIOT

ChildrenLUNAR NEW YEAR by Hannah Eliot
by Hannah Eliot
ChildrenDIWALI by Hannah Eliot
by Hannah Eliot
ChildrenDÍA DE LOS MUERTOS by Hannah Eliot
by Hannah Eliot

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE LITTLE MERMAID by Rachel Isadora
by Rachel Isadora
ChildrenTHE MERMAID by Jan Brett
by Jan Brett
ChildrenTHE LITTLE MERMAID by Robert Sabuda
by Robert Sabuda