MERMAID TALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD by Mary Pope Osborne

MERMAID TALES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

adapted by , illustrated by
Age Range: 10 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Osborne admits that when she began to collect mermaid tales she expected to find in them a ``typical legendary heroine-- beautiful, kind, and in need of rescue.'' She was startled to find water-maids more commonly portrayed as powerful, strong-willed, and independent. These 12 examples certainly bear her out: in medieval France, Melusine saves her human husband from punishment for accidentally killing his father; a Cornish mermaid drags a soldier to his death for callously abandoning her human ward; a young Ukrainian finds Nastassia of the Sea ``bold and remarkable''--and very hard to woo. Similarly, in tales from Asia, Africa, and North America, mermaids (in one case, a merman) become friends, make bargains, or fall in love with land-dwellers, generally (but not always) to someone's regret. As in Osborne's Favorite Greek Myths (1989), each tale opens with one of Howell's sumptuous, romantic paintings; here, he displays his technical skill in expert evocations of a succession of traditional national and historical styles. Osborne has edited or rewritten her selections--even Andersen's ``The Little Mermaid''--but appends explanatory source notes and a bibliography. A handsome, engrossing eye-opener. (Folklore. 10+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-590-44377-1
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1993




Kirkus Interview
Mary Pope Osborne
January 6, 2015

Danger in the Darkest Hour is beloved children’s writer Mary Pope Osborne’s latest entry in the Magic Tree House series and it features Jack and Annie’s most dangerous mission ever. The magic tree house has taken Jack and Annie back in time to England in 1944. England is fighting for its life in World War II. Before long, Jack and Annie find themselves parachuting into Normandy, France, behind enemy lines. The date is June 5. Will the brave brother and sister team be able to make a difference during one of the darkest times in history? “It appears there is nowhere Osborne’s Magic Tree House cannot take readers, as this successful foray suggests,” our reviewer writes. View video >

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