The Flight of the Mermaid

The Flight of the Mermaid

by Bhajju Shyam, Sirish Rao, Gita Wolf
     
 

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's haunting yet bleak tale, this simple and lyrical version of The Little Mermaid is faithful to—yet different from—the original. The ending in particular suggests both the sorrow that impends upon love and loss, as well as the possibilities of a life of freedom beyond the emotional struggle. The art by

Overview

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's haunting yet bleak tale, this simple and lyrical version of The Little Mermaid is faithful to—yet different from—the original. The ending in particular suggests both the sorrow that impends upon love and loss, as well as the possibilities of a life of freedom beyond the emotional struggle. The art by acclaimed Gond artist Bhajju Shyam is delicate, evocative, and magical, contrasting the worlds of land and ocean and the strange inner life of the mermaid and her sisters.

Letterpressed on tea-stained handmade paper, this is a truly handsome numbered collector’s edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
This poetic retelling of the Andersen tale of The Little Mermaid is rich with vivid description of the mermaid's early life with her five sisters under the sea. When she turns eighteen, it is time for her to go to the surface of the sea. There she sees, on a large ship, people dancing around a handsome prince. A sudden storm sinks the ship, but the mermaid takes the prince safely to shore. Unfortunately she has fallen in love with him. She gives up her voice to the Sea Witch and suffers pain at every step to get legs instead of a tail. Although she spends happy time with the prince, he marries another. Her sisters give her a chance to return to the sea if she kills the prince. But she cannot. Instead, because of her sacrifice, she is set free to join the "daughters of the air." Shyam uses the Gond tribe style for full-page intensely colored images facing text pages with pale, monochromatic drawings. The illustrations are strongly symbolic rather than naturalistic, for example the Sea Witch's head has snakes for hair and a long red tongue that enfolds the mermaid. When she considers killing the prince, the mermaid becomes a dagger; her hair turns black and grows long and snake-like. The dramatic picture on each page enhances the events of this tragic tale, as does the texture of the heavy pages. A piece of the cover of this hand made book, in the shape of a fish, comes out, exposing a picture of the mermaid. Interesting comparisons can be made with other versions of the story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Rich, colorful art plates by an acclaimed Gond tribal artist in India make this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid unique. This is a fine volume with thought-provoking details. Done in letterpress on heavy stock, the text tells the familiar story of the conflicts of loving another and being true to oneself. The plot closely follows Andersen's, but unfortunately, his name is misspelled the one time he is credited on the back of the book. There is no author's note about the retelling and the original story.—Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, MA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9788190675604
Publisher:
Tara Books
Publication date:
08/01/2009
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Bhajju Shyam, of the acclaimed The Night Life of Trees, is the finest living artist of the Gond tribe in India. Intricate and colourful, Bhajju's work is well-known throughout India and has been exhibited in the UK, Germany, Holland and Russia. From the walls of his tribal village home to international acclaim, Bhajju's has been an incredible creative journey. An exciting voice in contemporary Indian writing, Sirish Rao has authored over eighteen books, ranging from novels to children's books, re-tellings of myths to pop art collections. HIs books have won international awards and have been translated into several languages. His writing reflects his interest in nature, mountaineering, travel, eccentric people and the oddities of language. Gita Wolf has written more than seventeen books for children and adults. A highly original and creative voice in contemporary Indian publishing, she has pursued her interest in exploring and experimenting with the form of the book and its status as a revered cultural object. Many of her children's books have won major international awards.

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