The Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep

( 1 )

Overview

From the loremaster who brought us THE SECRET HISTORY OF GIANTS comes an intriguing new chronicle revealing the mysterious ways of merfolk.

Since ancient times, seafarers and coast-dwellers the world over have reported encounters with merpeople. Variously known as Finfolk, Dinny Mara, Nereids, Blue Men, and Merrymaids, merfolk have been the source of both gifts and disasters for humankind. Now a lavishly illustrated resource offers insight into the lives, origins, language, and ...

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Overview

From the loremaster who brought us THE SECRET HISTORY OF GIANTS comes an intriguing new chronicle revealing the mysterious ways of merfolk.

Since ancient times, seafarers and coast-dwellers the world over have reported encounters with merpeople. Variously known as Finfolk, Dinny Mara, Nereids, Blue Men, and Merrymaids, merfolk have been the source of both gifts and disasters for humankind. Now a lavishly illustrated resource offers insight into the lives, origins, language, and magic of these elusive peoples. Like a siren’s song, this fascinating tome is sure to enthrall all who fall under its spell.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
With the appearance and seriousness of an ancient tome, this book is chock-a- block full of information and stories about merfolk and other sea creatures. Every page has fold-out and lift-the-flap additions that make the reader feel privy to never-before-released information. Readers learn of the merfolk's origins, their language, the undersea villages they call home, and their physical appearance, ostensibly just in case they encounter such a sea creature one on one. Accounts of actual encounters with seafolk have been attributed to Noah, the ancient Babylonians, and even Henry Hudson. That merfolk are vengeful is seen in the wandering curse that condemns an entire ship for one sailor's infraction. Details about merfolk songs, weapons, sea zones, children who grow up to be human, and sea creatures to be wary of (e.g., sirens, leviathans) are all included. There is even one double-page spread devoted to selkies. The tiny writing on dark pages make this hard on the eye, but every page is crammed with facts and lore that will hold readers' attention. The illustrators manage to portray a sea world and its creatures as both frightening and alluring. Heavy stock paper and a jewel-toned cover add to the appeal of this intriguing compendium. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763645151
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/8/2009
  • Edition description: Gift
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 303,067
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ari Berk is a writer, visual artist, and scholar of literature, folklore, and myth. He has written everything from academic works on ancient cultures to popular books about myths for children and adults. A professor at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Ari Berk has traveled widely and made friends (aquatic and otherwise) in many parts of the world.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    What is it about mermaids?

    Is it the tail? The singing? Is it the hint of hidden treasures glimmering in the deeps? All of these I think, and more -- the sense of a secret life beneath the waves that maybe, if we peer very hard through the foam on a trip to the seaside, we can glimpse in some part but never share.

    With that thwarted desire in mind, Professor Berk has contrived with the Oceanic powers to reveal the enchantments, language, and lives of the merfolk and other sea folk. Under his guidance we wander through their favorite coves, examine the lore of shells, mirrors and mermaid grooming tips. You may find that the mermaids are so clever and elusive that they are a challenge (for older eyes at least) to discern within the swirls and eddies of the oceanic artwork. However, every page will reward a closer look! There are 7 mermaids in the Mer Village alone, and another 20 or so Mer-folk here and there through the sturdy pages of the book.

    As with the other books in this series, the reader is assumed to be a young person of good intelligence and reading skills, with an interest in the mysteries and enchantments of the world, although adults will find equal fascination on every page. In amongst the fanciful content is a rich trove of legendary matter, from Atlantis to seamen's tales to circus hoaxes, plus fold-outs, messages, and rhymes, with tail-flips decoded and charms defined. It's a book the reader can return to again and again for dozens of little revelations about this enchanting, legendary world. Open it anywhere, and find a land of poetry and wonder.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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