The Little Mermaid, by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, has always been one of my favorite stories. Not the Disney version, which had its own charm to be sure, but the original and much sadder fairytale of love, loss, and sacrifice. There are many beautiful books with the Andersen story intact and really I’ve rarely come across a bad version.
This Metaphrog retelling comes with very stylized full color illustrations. Clean line and chalk-like drawings are overlaid with patterns and textures to create a very modern look. The styling, however, is very reminiscent of ‘hippie’ art of the 1970s. The colors are rich and deep and the cover is very indicative of what you will find inside. This is suitable for reading to children of all ages.
If I have one nitpick, it is that the mermaid’s inner dialogue about not being able to verbally express herself felt unnecessary and overly simplistic. Instead of text, I would have preferred the images to showcase the emotions/feelings – then the Little Mermaid wouldn’t have sounded like she has the depth of a toddler who doesn’t have the language to express that they want peanut butter rather than tuna sandwiches.
That aside, this is a lovely addition to a fairy tale collection and I appreciate the original story being left intact here with the sad ending. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.