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THE MERBABY by Teresa Bateman

THE MERBABY

By Teresa Bateman (Author) , Patience Brewster (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2001
ISBN: 0-8234-1531-7
Publisher: Holiday House

A gentle teaching story with lovely watercolors in every hue of aquamarine, opal, and sea foam. Tarron serves his older brother Josh, who sails only for the profit of fishing and does not see the magic and adventure of the sea. They encounter a mermaid, but Tarron keeps his scarf around his head is and is not seduced. When their nets pull in a merbaby in the next catch, Josh rejoices, thinking their fortune is made. But Tarron cannot bear the thought of the tiny green-eyed babe put on display for gain, so he takes a small boat and sneaks away to take her back. So astonished is the mermaid by Tarron’s gesture that she calls him “Mer-friend,” fills his boat with treasure, and returns him to his brother’s ship. Tarron shares his goods with his brother and gets his own ship, gathering adventures and tales as he goes. The message of care and compassion, as well as the power of dreams—there’s a wonderful image of Tarron with his own ship tangled in his hair, a visible vision—are played but not hammered, and the ships, merpeople, and fishy denizens are rendered with graceful energy. (Picture book. 5-9)