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School Library Journal
In this sequel to Thora: A Half-Mermaid Tale (HarperCollins, 2005), readers rejoin the intrepid 10-year-old who is half-mermaid, half-human (which means she sports a pair of legs, a penchant for swimming, and a blowhole). She, her mermaid mother, and their companion, Mr. Walters, are visiting London in their houseboat. Unfortunately, the girl is completely unaware that her friend Shirley, a rare and beautiful sea-unicorn, has attracted the attention of a sinister mermaid, Pamela, who wishes to sell the unusual creature to a collector. Before they know it, the houseboat has been damaged, Shirley is nowhere to be seen, and they must wait out their boat's repairs at a friend's manor estate. Pamela shows up there, hoping to find the sea-unicorn, but with the aid of new allies, like exceedingly intelligent 11-year-old Louella Bidet, Thora proves ready for the challenge. Filled with myriad delectable Briticisms (everything from cricket whites and Gentleman's Relish to bubble and squeak), the book comes off as a lighthearted romp. Fans of mermaids will be gently amused by Johnson's sense of humor and evident love of her characters. Even better, readers needn't be familiar with the previous book to find themselves charmed by this airy little follow-up. The author's pen-and-ink illustrations are vaguely reminiscent of those by Quentin Blake. Not a necessary purchase, but a fun one all the same.
—Elizabeth BirdCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.