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The Little Mermaid

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  10,697 ratings  ·  364 reviews
This favorite fairy tale that so beautifully evokes the pain and pathos of unrequited love has captured the imaginations of generations of readers. Michael Hague works his magic on every page of this exquisite retelling. He evokes the underwater kingdom of the sea people and the lavish ceremony of life above land. Full color.
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 1st 1994 by Henry Holt & Co (first published 1837)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kathryn
Mar 08, 2010 Kathryn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chandra and Abigail!!!
A hauntingly beautiful story paired with achingly gorgeous illustrations! I'm sorry to say that this is the first time I've read the "actual" story of the Little Mermaid, previously acquainted only with very general retellings and the Disney movie version (which is delightful in its way). This version purports to be closest to Andersen's original as it makes only slight adaptations from the mid-19th century translation by Mary Howitt, a correspondent and friend of Andersen who introduced his wor ...more
Amanda
This is the first time I've read this original story (of possibly my favorite Disney movie). And obviously, it's a completely different experience, and the story is one that's been told in many forms throughout the last century at least. I did feel that it was closer to the Disney version than say, Snow White/Briar Rose. While I still don't like the less-than-happy ending, I enjoyed the story, imagery, etc enough to give it 4 stars. Probably my favorite of HCA's tales that I've read so far.
Nalia
“But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.”

I actually re-read this, i've read this once i was a kid. Basically, i grew up with Hans Christian Andersen's book and The Little Mermaid is always be my favorite. If you know the little mermaid from Disney then think the ending was happy ending and they live happily ever after, you can't found it here. The little mermaid that i know was sad story. This is about the sacrifice that Little Mermaid made for her love. She left her
...more
Luxia
Nov 02, 2013 Luxia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All those who have only seen the Disney version
*This review is for The Little Mermaid, Charles Santore's edition.*

But the story itself is the most haunting fairy tale ever written. And a lot of people sadly don't know the real story. We shall journey under the sea and into the deep abyss, but there are no singing sidekick Crabs and fishie friends to accompany or help rescue this Little mermaid.

The story will play out slightly more darker in Hans Christian Andersen's tale...of unrequited love, hope and selflessness. A pretty lovesick Mermai
...more
Natsu
This is a re-read. My parents bought me a book of fairy tales when I was a kid. Even then I found it waaaaaaay better than the deluded "happily-ever-after" thing which Disney presented (I've read the Disney book, but I never watched the animated movie). Don't get me wrong, I've nothing against Disney, I love "Frozen" and Belle's (actually The Beast's) Library.

It shows that life isn't all peachy. There's pain, sacrifice, and defeat in between and sometimes... there is no happy ending unless you l
...more
Kim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cristiann
I've always loved mermaids. When I was little, I dreamed about being one! lol. I've always found them to be such beautiful & interesting mythical creatures. So of course, you would think that I love Han's Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid, right? WRONG. And it's not just because of the Disney version. In fact, I always had some issues with Disney's version of the fairytale even before I read the original story.

I never understood how the mermaid could give up her family & life unde
...more
Sandy
After loving the Disney movie version for so long I finally read the original story. Not this edition in particular with illustrations but I couldn't find the one I read. Many who have read the original story that both stories are very different and they are. I loved the author's descriptions of the mermaid kingdom it was so much more beautiful than what was shown in the animated movie and the little mermaids sacrifice was much greater though she took no less time to think about the horrible con ...more
Majo
Perault, a diferencia de los hermanos Grimm, se molesta en describir el entorno... y lo hace de una manera bellisíma.

Adoro este cuento, me encanta la protagonista y su forma soñadora de ser, y que sea capaz de dar todo por amor. El castigo que la Hechicera del Abismo le impone a la Sirenita me parece un poco excesivo:
"...Deberás sufrir atrozmente y, cada vez que pongas los pies en el suelo sentirás un terrible dolor."
Sé que estos relatos son más oscuros y pretendian darle lecciones a los niños,
...more
Lissett Ordosgoitti
Linda historia de amor sin el típico final de "vivieron felices por siempre", pero destacando el gran corazón y lo bondadosa que es la Sirenita.
Lauren Richards
The Little Mermaid is about a girl that becomes of age to go to the surface and watch the human world. She falls in love with a prince from a distance, and his ship was wrecked and is saved by the mermaid. She visits the sea witch to become human, but with out a voice. To break the spell the witch puts on her, she must get a kiss and to get married. The price was forced to married a kingdom girl and the mermaid has a broken heart. After a few missteps the mermaid throws herself in the sea and di ...more
كوثر الشريفي
I can't believe that all this time, I didn't know the actual story of "the little mermaid"! The original one written by Hans Anderson is so touching..I understand that Disney always has happy endings because of their audience. However, I find the original story much more effective and realistic.. Children shouldn't be taught always that life has happy endings, because life is not a fairtytale. Children should be exposed to some of these "unhappy" endings probably because they need to understand ...more
Eman
Disney's The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite animated movies. The book is even better.

I personally assume that when Hans Christian Andersen wrote The Little Mermaid, he didn't intend it for little children even though the theme is kinda childish. It's more suitable for teens, or can fit in the YA genre more than Children's Literature. The book is so beautifully written with a creative touch on the mer-people and a deep take on self-sacrifice. It doesn't have your typical happy ending we're
...more
John Yelverton
After having seen the movie, I thought I was going to die after I read the actual book.
dara
Dec 08, 2008 dara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: small children who should realize at an early age that not even fairy tales are all happy endings
The Little Mermaid is a short, rather sad story of sacrificing for love. After saving a prince from drowning, the little mermaid falls in love so deeply that she wishes to become human desperately enough to make a deal with the sea witch. She is told that if she fails to capture the prince's heart, then on the morning after he is married to another, she will turn into sea foam. Not only does she lose her voice to the sea witch in exchange for legs, but every step she makes is excruciatingly pain ...more
Lola
Like all little girls, I was once in love with the Little Mermaid. My mom will tell you that I would have to watch the Little Mermaid at least three times a day, or I wasn't a happy camper. As a teenager, I have the Little Mermaid on DVD (the special edition), but I spend more time watching all the special features than the movie. I practically have them memorized by now, but I still watch them anyway. One of the special features on the DVD is a little background on Hans Christian Anderson and ...more
Mandy Sickle
The little mermaid tells the story of the youngest daughter of the sea king. When her sisters turn sixteen they have their first view of the world above the sea. As her sisters each turn sixteen and return with stories the littlest mermaid can’t wait to explore the above world. On her first visit she comes across the handsome prince who she watches aboard his ship. When the ship is destroyed in the storm the little mermaid helps him to land. After returning to her home in the sea she can’t stop ...more
Somerandom
I was actually introduced to this tale by Disney.
Now, as a little 7 year old girl who adored Disney Movies, you'd think I would be in love with Disney's The Little Mermaid. Especially considering that despite my utter tom boyishness, I am still in love with Beauty and the Beast.
But it seems I am one of the few who doesn't like the Disney retelling of The Little Mermaid.
I am indeed grateful for it for kicking off the Disney Renaissance which I grew up with. I can't fault the animation, the songs
...more
Chelsea Nicole
I saw a post on Tumblr about the real story of The Little Mermaid which is very different from the story I grew up with. Disney definitely changed a huge part of the story, though I can't say I didn't like this classic. It's been a long time since I've been wanting to read this because of the different turn of story but I have to say that I really expected more from it. I still liked it, though. It's just a bit too short and I really thought it would break my heart a lot, but it didn't. Not as m ...more
Yue Zhou
This is one of my favorite books when I was a little child. It really breaks my heart when finally I know she became bubbles. One of the most important reasons is it edifies people a significant moral value which is about love and sacrifice. To pursue the true love and eternal soul of human, she gives up the fabulous life and the 300-year lifespan. The little mermaid would drink the poison and suffer the pain in order to see the prince. Moreover, at the dawn of the prince’s wedding day, the lit ...more
Tracy Schilling
I appreciate this story now that I am an adult. I was 6 when it was read to me the the first time. I did not get it until when I am 27 and with a girl of my own. "Do not change who you are for a male or anyone. If asked to change, do not do it for you are the way you are for a reason." The main female lead gives up her voice and later on in the story, herself for someone else. Tough lesson story, but hauntingly beautiful at the same. It teaches that not all stories have a happy ending, something ...more
Huda AbuKhoti
What a melancholic story... It is my first time reading the original story. I never thought it was this splendid! I guess the little mermaid was in fact closest to human beings in her desire than all her sisters were for she was so passionate and greedy when it came to something she wanted so bad even when she knew that it was a reckless decision that would possibly hurt her and those who really love her.

Was she content after being a daughter of the air in the end? I do not know if I would have
...more
Kathy
I read a free Kindle version. But before this, I had only seen the Disney little mermaid -- which I love. I was impressed by how well the animated film followed the story for a bit, and then. I didn't know the real ending. So sad.
Angela
FINALLY.

After all these years that I have been in love with Disney's The Little Mermaid, I finally had the chance to read the non-sugarcoated, original version by Hans Christian Andersen. I already knew how it was gonna end, but actually reading it made my heart ache just like how the Little Mermaid's heart ached when she saw the Prince fall in love with another maiden.

So basically, when a mermaid turns 15, they are given permission to rise up above the surface and have a glimpse of the world.
...more
Leesa Savage
-The Little Mermaid is about a girl that becomes of age to go to the surface and watch the human world. She falls in love with a prince from a distance, and his ship was wrecked and is saved by the mermaid. She visits the sea witch to become human, but with out a voice. To break the spell the witch puts on her, she must get a kiss and to get married. The price was forced to married a kingdom girl and the mermaid has a broken heart. After a few missteps the mermaid throws herself in the sea and d ...more
Michelle E.
I really hate when other books and movies claim to be based on HCA fairytales (for example), like a certain movie I believe is called Ponyo, if I remember correctly, and they don't resemble the source material at all. I understand the need to make a remake their own (or else, why do it?), but one should be able to easily pin point the influences. Otherwise, you're just trying to get people to buy into your story that probably wouldn't touch it otherwise.
Jackie Gregory
The traditional telling of the dark classic where the youngest daughter of the sea king wishes only to go above the waves, to the land of men. She is told that when she reaches the age of 15 she may visit above the waves, but must not be seen. She goes on her birthday and ends up saving the prince from drowning, and of course she falls in love. She exchanges her fins for legs to be with the prince however it causes her nothing but pain, when she dances it is as if knives are stabbing into her so ...more
Joana Catarina
Apaixonada como sou pela versão da Disney, tentei ao máximo não pensar nela enquanto lia este conto, mas foi quase impossível. Contudo, apesar de todas as diferenças, até gostei de ver a origem da história que tanto adoro desde pequena :)
Amanda Casteel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miriam
I wouldn't go so far as to say I disliked Zwerger's illustrations, but neither did I feel they added anything to the text, which often went on for one or two pages with just words (and the occasional sentence highlighted in another color that was hardly noticeable in indirect light). It felt more like an art project than something for a child to enjoy.
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Would you... 2 7 Aug 23, 2014 12:40PM  
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Hans Christian Andersen (Danish: [ˈhanˀs ˈkʁæsdjan ˈɑnɐsn̩]; often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen; April 2, 1805 – August 4, 1875) was a Danish author and poet. Although a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, Andersen is best remembered for his fairy tales. Andersen's popularity is not limited to children; his stories—called eventyr, or "fairy-tales"—express them ...more
More about Hans Christian Andersen...
The Complete Fairy Tales The Little Match Girl The Emperor's New Clothes The Snow Queen The Ugly Duckling

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“But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.” 3596 likes
“She laughed and danced with the thought of death in her heart.” 185 likes
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