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




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