Mermaids haunt the waters of the world from the Lake of Zug in Switzerland to the reefs of Hawke Bay on the North Island of New Zealand. In a companion to A Treasury of Princesses (1996, not reviewed), Climo gathers eight representative tales of these beguiling aquatic creatures who know charms, cast spells, shift shapes, and wreak havoc, both undersea and above ground. Climo's compendium features an oceanic Snow Whitelike Scottish selkie story, a disagreeable Icelandic merman trickster tale, and a Japanese shape-shifting snapper who comprehends the language of the birds. The spectrum of mermaids appears here: powerful magicians filling the nets of fishermen, seductive voices luring sailors to their watery graves, or simply fish out of water, attempting misguided lives among humans. An eerily enchanting watercolor panel launches each mer-tale, followed by a pen-and-ink detail inserted in the story. Many of the stories adapted and collected here can be readily found in other sources, such as Mary Pope Osborne's Mermaid Tales from Around the World (1993). While the introduction to each tale demonstrates prodigious research, it becomes confusing in the inclusion of countries and of the various names of mermaids, until readers may feel awash in information. A section of story notes completes the collection. (Folklore. 6-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1997

ISBN: 0-06-023876-3

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


At ``Step 2'' in the useful ``Step into Reading'' series: an admirably clear, well-balanced presentation that centers on wolves' habits and pack structure. Milton also addresses their endangered status, as well as their place in fantasy, folklore, and the popular imagination. Attractive realistic watercolors on almost every page. Top-notch: concise, but remarkably extensive in its coverage. A real bargain. (Nonfiction/Easy reader. 6-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-679-91052-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1992

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet