Score 95/100 (9.5 out of 10)
Well, this book had an impact on our kids, let us tell you!
Mellie the Mermaid is an adorable, educational children's book by Anna Finch, an author who is quickly becoming one of the most prolific children's authors we know.
It has a very important lesson for children about caution (being careful)—something parents and teachers are constantly warning children about out of love and concern. Well, there's only so many times you can tell a child “no” or “don't do that” before it starts going in one ear and out the other. It's special and helpful to have that lesson be taught in the form of an entertaining, eye-catching book. And that's what we have here!
The book follows Mellie, a cute, spunky little mermaid who is fearless to a fault. She isn't afraid of the clapping clams, the electric eels, or the ringed octopi. She also isn't afraid to venture into the deep waters by herself. That is until she meets a big, scary shark with huge, sharp teeth!
Seriously, our kids jumped out of their seats and screamed. We felt like screaming! That shark is terrifying! But that's probably a good thing. It's the kind of emotional reaction that you want when teaching kids about consequences. Sometimes the best way to teach a kid to be careful crossing the road is to show them some roadkill. When you don't listen to your parents and when you take unnecessary risks, bad things can happen. You're not untouchable or invincible, and many kids think they are due to lack of experience. You don't just come back from the dead like a cartoon or video game character. Actions and decisions sometimes have lasting or even permanent consequences.
Now, we're not saying that this book is violent or overly scary. It really isn't. And it's adorable and appealing throughout. You could even explain to your kids that the shark is Bruce from Finding Nemo--he doesn't even know his father and fish are friends, not food.
It sends the right message to kids, one that could potential save them from harm or injury. This has real-world applications. For example, it's important for kids to know not to wander out by themselves, not to talk to strangers, avoid touching the hot stove, or to look both ways when crossing the street. Fear exists for a reason. It can be bad to be crippled by fear, but it also prevents us from making poor and dangerous choices.
The illustrations in this book have a very appealing, hand-painted look. The animals, quite frankly, are adorable (except for maybe the shark). Mellie herself stands out and is just such a cool, appealing character. There are times when the writing is just a little rough. For example, the shipwrecked ship just so happens to be called “Nellie.” So, it is a bit easy for a dyslexic person to get mixed up between the name of the ship and the name of the main character. It is nice to see the author attempt a rhyme scheme that is catchy and appealing to children.
We highly recommend this children's book!
Check it out on Amazon!