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Mermaid Tales from Around the World
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Mermaid Tales from Around the World

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  351 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Enchanting tales of sea nymphs from 12 cultures, including Chinese, Iranian, African, and Native American, are eloquently retold in this acclaimed collection. Full color. An "American Bookseller" Pick of the Lists.
Paperback, 84 pages
Published 1993 by Scholastic
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Flipping the Scales by Pete TarsiThe Little Mermaid by Walt Disney CompanyMermaid Tales from Around the World by Mary Pope OsbornePoseidon’s Children by Michael  WestSleeping with the Fishes by MaryJanice Davidson
3rd out of 98 books — 42 voters
A Tolkien Bestiary by David DayFaeries by Brian FroudGnomes by Rien PoortvlietFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. RowlingAfter Man by Dougal Dixon
62nd out of 161 books — 80 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
OMG guys!!!! Look!!! Mermaids!!!!!

So I found this as I was cleaning out an old closet and totally forgot that I stole this from a library when I lived in Virginia a decade ago. Shhhhhh.....don't tell Erica.

So I decided to delve in. I've been in a mermaid place lately. I need to get in touch with my people.

After all, I am one of them you know.

As a whole I was pretty disappointed by this anthology. Why do so many mermaid tales involve loving a man from the land? So many of these tales paint mermai
Mar 19, 2009 Loren rated it really liked it
Shelves: auroras-books
Before The Magic Treehouse books, Mary Pope Osborne collected these stories of water nymphs from around the world. I liked the inclusion of unusual stories like "Menana of the Waterfall" (a Romeo & Juliet tale set among the Ottawas) and "The Sea Princess of Persia" and the Japanese "The Serpent and the Sea Queen," alongside more familiar stories about Melusine and the little mermaid, who is nameless in this version and turns to seafoam when her love goes unrequited. This isn't so much a book ...more
Nov 01, 2015 Darlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids of all ages
Recommended to Darlene by: Reno BookCrossers
Aside from the fact that I don't particularly like short stories, this book redeemed itself with beautiful pictures. I love the fact that in the back of the book, you can find out about each of the stories in more depth. But each story is a page to four pages, with enough pictures to keep it interesting. The fonts made it fairly easy for me to read. And may I mention it again, the pictures broke all that up for me.

This is a BookCrossing book. BCID: 50011493106 if there are no objections, I think
Marissa García
This is a collection of twelve tales featuring mermaid/merman figures from around the world. The stories featured are French, North American Indian, Greek, Irish, Ukrainian, Nigerian, Japanese, English, Chinese, Iranian, German, and Danish. In her introduction, Osborne comments on her research process for the collection, remarking on how in every water maid tale she found from all over the world, the mermaid figure was depicted as a strong female character. She explains that she only reworked th ...more
This was a nice collection of stories coupled with wonderful illustrations. The stories were summarized well, with a nice variety of places to pull from. I was disappointed that Die Lorelei was not the German story, but the millpond one was pretty good. An extremely fast read and nice intro to mermaid tales that you may or may not be familiar with.
This is a fairly long anthology of mermaid stories from various cultures. They aren't of Disney ilk and I think that was wonderful, but it was a little confusing for our girls. When I read "The Little Mermaid" to them, they complained that it wasn't the 'original' story (which for them, of course, was the Disney version.) They didn't really understand why mermaids weren't all beautiful, kind and sweet in these stories, but they did enjoy the tales. I thought the stories were wonderful and I love ...more
Rebecca Ostrega
This is my third traditional tale book review:

This book has short mermaid tales from around the world, so the one I chose was "The Enchanted Cap". It is an Irish tale and I actually loved reading how the theme of mermaids have been told all around the world. The illustrations all correlate to the country in which the story comes from. For example, the Greek tale's pictures are similar to images found on ancient pottery. The Japanese tale depicts dragons and traditional clothing.

The Irish tale i
Aug 12, 2011 Ariana rated it it was amazing
I remember reading this book as a little girl. My sisters and I would go to our local library and check this book out over and over again. Beautifully illustrated tales of mermaid from different cultures. My favorite was Menana of the Waterfall.
Jul 07, 2010 Christany rated it it was amazing
Mermaids are awesome!
Yes, another mermaid book - and a new favorite! I hadn't heard a lot of these stories before. Some I had - like the Nigerian "The Fish Husband". I remember an African storyteller used to come to our school and that was one of my favorite stories he told. The way his ended was slightly more ambiguous and bittersweet, though - the girl simply walks into the river and "was never seen again". But the river thereafter bore water lilies, which are her and her fish husband's children.

I like how Mary P
Cassie Olds-benton
Mar 16, 2014 Cassie Olds-benton rated it it was amazing
These stories from around the world are not Disney-fied versions, but are very true to the originals from their countries. Not all mermaids are the same either. This book would be better to read together with your children, so when they find out that a mermaid can look like a fish you can have a lively discussion about that!
Jun 21, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing
I love the array of sea people tales they picked, and they that were, in fact from around the world, not just one token not-white culture and then a bunch from Europe (though there were a few from Europe).
Jun 13, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This was such a great collection of mermaid tales. It was really interesting to see how many cultures took the same mermaid legend and made it their own.

Also, the artwork before each story was gorgeous!

Thanks to the bibliography in the back, I now have a lot more books on my to-read list...
Kit Kat
Jan 29, 2013 Kit Kat rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This book contained short stories about mermaids. It was definitely an awesome read. I got this book as a gift from my Elementary school and I enjoyed each and every one of the unique stories. My favorite one was the one where the mermaid cannot tell her husband that she is a mermaid, but he finds out anyway. These stories exceeded my expectations and I will definitely read them again.
I never though of Native Americans or Africans having mermaid legends
Feb 28, 2016 RumBelle rated it really liked it
This collection was varied in tone, and locale. It was a really interesting cross section of mermaid tales from many different cultures and time periods. The illustrations were extraordinary, vibrant and so alive.
Dec 15, 2008 Becca rated it liked it
Emily loved this book. We read it aloud to her. It did have some tales that were a bit gruesome seeming to me (mostly people being suicidal and drowning themselves after their mermaid friend left).
Mar 28, 2012 Jess rated it it was amazing
Shelves: most-favoritest
Lovely, with a far-reaching and unique collection of stories that surpass current mermaid cliches. Menana and the waterfall was my favorite- her retelling was exquisite.
Mar 31, 2009 Blackmonk001 rated it really liked it
By no means exhaustive in nature, the book is written more like a kind of kids' introduction to mermaid folklore. It's quick and easily digested. Start to finish in one reading.
Aug 31, 2008 Lia rated it really liked it
Really interesting artwork in this book. The artist works with the style of art from each country that the tales come from. Stories are not what you usually find. Enjoyable.
Mar 24, 2009 Kami rated it really liked it
Who can resist Mermaid tales? Especially ones that stay true to the original--i.e. the little mermaid dies. Anyway, my 9 yr. daughter loved them and I enjoyed them too.
Jan 18, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it
This was one of the mermaid books that was read and reread all throughout my childhood. And by read I mean the pictures were looked at seriously.
Jan 30, 2009 Z rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Beautiful illustrations corresponding to the cultures of the various tales, and good - sometimes creepy - stories make this a great book.
Alicia Cole
Jun 22, 2016 Alicia Cole rated it it was amazing
A magical and exciting insight into different cultures of the world through old mermaid legends. Fascinating!
Ashley Illicete
Aug 03, 2012 Ashley Illicete rated it it was amazing
I remember this book from when I was a little kid, the art is fantastic and the tales are easy to read.
May 23, 2009 Mikaylah rated it really liked it
I really liked some of these stories.And the illustrations were beautiful.
Nov 06, 2008 Annette rated it it was amazing
Chacha Centeno
Mar 16, 2013 Chacha Centeno rated it it was amazing
This is an awesome book!
Feb 07, 2016 Jacqueline rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I spent an entire summer obsessed with this book and it's artwork when I was young. I was so happy to find a copy to share with my boyfriends daughter. She loves the artwork just as much! I guess some girls just never stop loving mermaids.
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Mary Pope Osborne has channeled a lifelong love of exploration and travel into one of the most popular children’s book series of the past two decades. With her fantastic Magic Tree House series, Mary Pope Osborne keeps the good times rolling for kids all over the world.
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