Mary Ann Fraser's Mermaid Sister
Book review by Tamara Splingaerd
A Bit of Sibling Rivalry When Coral the Fish-Girl Comes to Stay
Mermaids. Argh. Unless you’re conducting a cruel social experiment on your little girl, (deprivation tank?) you’ve probably already caved in and allowed princess tiaras, magic wands and Ariel nightgowns into your home. And once you’ve crossed over into that sparkly pink world there’s no going back. All you can do now is try to surround your little princess with as much substantive material as you can lay your hands on so she doesn’t grow up to be a Paris Hilton clone. At least that’s been my strategy…
This brings us to my daughter’s latest favorite book, Mermaid Sister, which I am sorry to announce has done absolutely nothing to improve her 6 year-old worldview.
Oh, she just HAD to have it, “Soooo cuuuute!” she begged her spineless mama. “Awwww, look at her little brother! “Pleeeeease? She’s a MERMAID!” Her hopeful eyes fluttered sadly as I filled out the school book order form, and I soon crumbled like a warm peanut butter cookie.
So now I’m paying the price. There are pages upon pages of cutsie sea-related puns in both the text and the pictures, which of course my child thinks is hilarious. It’s really not that funny. This is definitely a book that’s cuter rather than smarter. My new strategy, after 3 consecutive nights of her reading Mermaid Sister to me is to try to fall asleep before she gets to the page where Coral the mermaid answers a message in the bottle, “SISTER WANTED, APPLY ONSHORE”. I think that’s page 2.
What can I say? Mary Ann Fraser didn’t write (and illustrate) this book for me or anyone resembling me. I understand that. Do I recommend this book? Well I guess that depends. If you’re a soft spineless indulgent crumbly peanut butter cookie like me, then it doesn’t really matter what I say. You’re going to buy it because it makes your little princess happy. If you’re Tiger Mom, you’re not going to listen to me anyway because you’re too busy stuffing the dollhouse into the wood chipper.
If you’re somewhere in the middle, here’s what you do. Get Grandma to buy Mermaid Sister and keep it at her house. Grandma’s happy, the princess is happy and you’re happy because you can get back to reading the more substantive Walter the Farting Dog (Webmaster's note:Also reviewed by Tamara). Thank me later, just don’t send me a copy of the Mermaid Sister sequel.
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