Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Little Mermaid” as Want to Read:
The Little Mermaid
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Little Mermaid

(Cuentos completos Andersen #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  20,216 ratings  ·  1,018 reviews
Once there was a little mermaid who fell in love with a human boy . . . The story may be familiar, but Lisbeth Zwerger's art makes this fairytale seem brand-new. This Jubilee edition, celebrating 200 years of Hans Christian Andersen, is superbly illustrated in Zwerger's signature style. Known for her popular and award-winning editions of classics such as The Wizard of Oz ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 9th 2004 by Minedition (first published 1836)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  20,216 ratings  ·  1,018 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Little Mermaid
Bionic Jean
The Little Mermaid, or "Den lille havfrue" is one of the most famous fairy tales by the Danish author, Hans Christian Andersen. It is a tale which has captured the imagination, sparking off numerous adaptations, and a ballet version of it inspired a statue which sits on a rock in the Copenhagan harbour in Langelinie. Even though the statue is quite small, it has itself become a Copenhagen icon and a major tourist attraction.

The tale was first published in 1837, along with "The Emperor's New
Ahmed  Ejaz
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories, 2018
By now, I should be saying that I am used to reading Anderson's bitter-sweet tales. After all, I have read many of them. BUT HELL NO! I can't say it. The only reason I still read his tales is because his writing style is so vivid and beautiful. I am kind of addicted to his writing in such a way that I must have a dose of it once in a while.
This tale is my favourite as far as description of scenes are concerned. He has a way with imagining awesome scenes.
But for plot, I think almost every tale
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics, e-reader, 2016

Hmm... I think its wrong to compare it with the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, although I didnt expected Andersens version was so... what shall I call it... f*cked up...
The point of view of the Little Mermaid herself was wonderful, she was sweet and good-hearted. But the prince, omg! Why would you love such a person?! I mean: The prince said she should remain with him always, and she received permission to sleep at his door, on a velvet cushion. What is she?! A dog?! And the ending was
Jul 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  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 ...more
Sep 13, 2015 rated it did not like it
Hah. This is going to be like the ragequit of book reviews.

*calm deep breaths* *inhale* *exhale* *googling pictures of fluffy kittens*




I need to bleach this version from my SOUL. Hans, I'M TAWKING TO YOU. Rise up out of your 140 year old grave right now AND FIX THIS SHIT. I'm hunting down the original, and setting it on fire. Or at the very least writing Sebastian into your story. YOU CAN'T HAVE THE LITTLE MERMAID WITHOUT THE SASSY JAMAICAN
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Andersen's version of the tale, at the bottom of the sea, five mermaid princesses lived with their father. While they all pined to go to the surface to explore, none of this was permitted until their fifteenth birthdays. One by one, the mermaids ascended on their fifteenth birthdays to explore the outside world, returning with wonderful tales. The youngest is the most excited of all, making her way to the surface, only to help a prince who falls into the sea during a storm. From that day ...more
Rebecca McNutt
While differing a great deal from the 1980's popular Disney film by the same name, the original version of The Little Mermaid is a lot more tragic, deep and strange in ways which the film either glosses over or removes completely for its intended audience. The story here depicts mermaids differently than Disney does or even modern pop culture does in general, following the more traditional myths of mermaids to some degree but with a more benevolent style.

While not one of my favourite short
The Little Mermaid I grew up with was a sweet and cheerful red head who I could sing along and be happy with, be happy for. She was one of Disney's greatest mutation projects, a character most kids born after the year 1989 would be most familiar with - that was the year of the adaptation of the originally dark and doleful tale of the youngest mer-daughter of the royal underwater empire into something much more luminous and chipper. Don't get me wrong, I loved and lived the Disney concept as a ...more
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow-- I knew this would be drastically different the the flame colored heroine of Disney's creation, but I don't know that I was prepared for this. For most of the book (almost 3/4) the story remains mostly the same. A young daughter of a widowed merman and her grandmother are raising her and her multitude of sister mermaids. On her 16th birthday, she spies a prince on a ship and then rescues his life from the sea. She also makes a trade with the sea witch, but the terms of the deal are much ...more
Merphy Napier
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars
I know this has really high ratings but I still feel like I shouldn't have loved this as much as I did. It was so tragically awesome. I love that it didn't have a happy ending. It was weird as snot but I loved it.
Paula W
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
There isn't much to like about this story. A young mermaid finds out she doesn't have a soul and will end up as nothing more than sea foam after her death, so she goes about stalking a human she hopes will fall in love with her and give her part of his soul. Which could work, I guess, if she hadn't gotten her tongue cut out or if the human didn't see her as a pet instead of a serious love interest. He even had her sleeping outside his room on a cushion. _(°_o)_/ ...more
Chelsey Ellice
The Disney version of The Little Mermaid is so much better. Its a happy ending!! The original story, which is this, doesnt end how I expected. It was so sad. I did enjoy the rest though. ...more
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, romance, classic, sad
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
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I choose to give it 5 stars because of the lovely way in which it is written, but, umm, still in a bit of a shock at the surprise ending, after being attuned to the blissful elixir of the Disney version all these years.
Candace Robinson
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I know the original story but had never actually read it. So I grabbed the ARC for the upcoming, new, illustrated version.

Let me just say Ive only read one Andersen book which was that horrific Christmas tree story! Thank all those dead trees that this story was much better. I loved this one!

First, I really loved the mermaid and her naiveness because she really didnt know much better yet she had a heart of gold. The prince was a douche bag so I was glad about the ending and that there was still
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
Jun 01, 2017 rated it did not like it


He loves her like a pet, because she's devoted to him.
She's allowed to sleep on his doorstep on a velvet cushion
He will marry because he can't marry the one he loves

Mr. prince:

Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Well I had heard this version was very different from the Disney version and oh was it different. I think it's a little bizarre if I'm honest but definitely not our ordinary happily ever after which I think I like.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chihiro Iwasaki Fans / Fairy-Tale Lovers
The Little Mermaid, illustrated by Chihiro Iwasaki.

For someone who doesn't particularly like the story of The Little Mermaid, I do seem to read it fairly often! From the abbreviated version illustrated by Katie Thamer Treherne, which I found pretty, but unremarkable, to the complete translation, accompanied by the distinctive artwork of noted fairy-tale interpreter, Lisbeth Zwerger, this popular tale has been retold numerous times. The artwork in Michael Hague's edition has always struck me as
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having visited The Little Mermaid statue on a visit to Copenhagen in 2014, this was an obvious choice for Denmark in my #WorldCupInBooks challenge this summer.

Its hard not to compare it to the Disney version, but I was quite surprised how of the animated movie owed to the original story.

Once a Mermaid reaches 15 years of age, theyre allowed to go up to the surface. When The Little Mermaid reaches this age, she rises up and watches a prince celebrating hes birthday on a ship.
During a storm the
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
The Rebel Scribe
The Little Mermaid has been one of my favorite Disney movies since I saw it in theaters. I was a tiny thing and when I got the VHS I would play it as much as I could.

The original story isn't exactly like the Disney version. It's a bit darker but has a similar message to it. I actually prefer this version to be honest.

I'm not going to spoil anything about it because I know it's one of those classics that everyone wants to read or has been putting off reading, counting me. I finally read it
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Oh this story will always remind me of my childhood, so of course this is a five star story
Laura from Tippy Lane
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow! Talk about the Disney storyline being a polar opposite of the book! I was slightly disappointed in the ending of this book and I found the prince to be a bit of a brat.
José Carlos
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it

Oh dear... Is kind of sad that a story like this has had such influence in the world. Is a story that portrais what actually happens to a lot of people, people that get lost in a love that never really exists, however it does to the person who is blind about the relationship.

Is understandable that a story like this gets the recognition it has, but when you think of all the kids that grow up loving this story and how it had to be change with the pas of the years to be presented to new
Whenever I re-read a fairytale from my childhood, I am always surprised at how different it is from my memory of it. This one, of course, suffered from the innumerable times I was forced to watch the Disney version with the grandchildren.

Andersen was the quintessential moral story teller, with many lessons to be carried away by both children and adults. The obvious ones of not longing for things that you cannot have and measure the cost carefully before you make the deal, but on the flip side,
Jul 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A perfect fairy story. Sweet but brutal and full of allegorical Christianity. Probably not a suitable version for modern children's bedtime.
Aug 12, 2016 rated it did not like it
Oh, well, this is going to be a harsh review...
"The little mermaid" is my favorite Disney movie since FOREVER. I knew the original story had a tragic ending, despite that I prepared myself to love, or at least like it anyway. But wow, this is NOT what I expected.
And I knew that this story was inspired by a real one, in which our dear Hans Christian Andersen is metaphorically the little mermaid, more exactly, a gay who was in love with a straight man, who chose a woman over him. I mean, yeah,
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Little Mermaid - specific version. [s] 5 39 Aug 01, 2019 09:27AM  
Would you... 3 19 Aug 05, 2018 04:24PM  
Into the Forest: The Little Mermaid - Hans Christian Andersen - July/Aug 33 45 Aug 05, 2018 04:22PM  
Catching up on Cl...: The Little Mermaid - June 2017 97 151 Oct 31, 2017 12:07PM  
Reading Addicts: Classic BOTM_The Little Mermaid 4 10 Apr 27, 2016 08:52PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Nightingale
  • Cinderella
  • Sleeping Beauty (Classics Illustrated)
  • Snow White
  • The Princess and the Pea
  • Rapunzel
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: A Pop-Up Adaptation
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats
  • Cinderella
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • The Sleeping Beauty
  • Puss in Boots
  • The Goose Girl: A Story from the Brothers Grimm
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Cinderella
  • جبل العجائب
See similar books…
Hans Christian Andersen (often referred to in Scandinavia as H. C. Andersen) 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 themes that transcend age and nationality.

Andersen's fairy tales,

Other books in the series

Cuentos completos Andersen (4 books)
  • La pequeña cerillera y otros cuentos (Cuentos completos II)
  • Chiquilladas y otros cuentos (Cuentos completos III)
  • Peiter, Peter y Peer y otros cuentos (Cuentos Completos, #4)

Articles featuring this book

Imogen Hermes Gowar's debut novel The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock is an enchanting tale about a merchant, a prostitute, and mythical cre...
134 likes · 24 comments
“But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more.” 4150 likes
“She laughed and danced with the thought of death in her heart.” 316 likes
More quotes…