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

The Mermaid and the Shoe

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,161 ratings  ·  263 reviews
King Neptune had fifty daughters. Some might call them mermaids. Each one, it seemed, was more remarkable than the last. Except Minnow.

The only remarkable thing about Minnow was the questions she asked. So many questions! "Where do bubbles go?" "Why don't crabs have fins?" "What lies beyond the kingdom?"

When a curious and beautiful new object drifts into her life, Minnow c
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Kids Can Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Mermaid and the Shoe, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Mermaid and the Shoe

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,161 ratings  ·  263 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Mermaid and the Shoe
Amalia Gkavea
"Stop asking useless questions," Calypso replied, "and be remarkable. Like the rest of us."

But Minnow doesn't want to be "remarkable" like her forty-nine sisters, Neptune's daughters. She doesn't care for beautiful gardens, and fish training and songs for the silvery moonlight. Minnow wants to know. She wants to know why crabs don't have fins, where bubbles go, what lies beyond her father's kingdom. Until one day, when a pretty red shoe with pretty ribbons and pretty heels comes her way. And
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Why are magical creatures so hard to write? I’m a children’s librarian. That means that a goodly portion of my day can consist of small starry-eyed children asking for an array of otherworldly cuties. “Do you have any unicorn books?” “Any fairies?” “Any mermaids?” Actually, more often than not it’s their parents asking and you can read between the lines when they request such books. What they’re really saying is, “Do you have any books about a fairy that isn’t going to make me want to tear out m ...more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Cute story of a mermaid finding out what she's good at: exploration and storytelling. ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, picture-books
The art is stunning, and so is the story. The contrasting colors are what really sets this apart: the striking red of the shoe, the darkness of the water, and the gold and white mermaid . . . so beautiful! My daughter, who loves mermaids, adores this story heart and soul!
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fairy-Tale Lovers / Children Who Love Mermaids
Unlike the forty-nine other daughters of King Neptune, little Minnow had no extraordinary gifts, or special skills. She wasn't a talented singer like her sister Calypso, or a gifted gardener like Clio. What she was, was a mermaid with lots of questions. Where did the bubbles go, she wondered, and why didn't crabs have fins? When the warm surface current brought Minnow an odd red object that she could not identify, she set out to the edge of the underwater kingdom to investigate. In the process s ...more
May 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit, arc
Simple beautiful message accompanied by age appropriate illustrations which do not fail when aesthetics are put to the test. I would gladly read this to children over story time.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
So original, and relatively long, I had to read it a second time to realize how special it is. (Think 'acquired taste.') Other reviews are better so I'm only going to say that I recommend this for ages 4-8 or so, and, of course, adults. ...more
Isa Lavinia
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing

ARC provided by Kids Can Press through Netgalley

All of King Neptune's 50 daughters have a special skill: there is Clio with her gardening, Thetis and her fish training, Calypso and her singing... but what of the King's youngest daughter, Minnow?
The only thing Minnow does is ask questions and more questions. And when one day she comes upon a mysterious object she goes exploring to find answers to her questions.

This was such a delightful story!
First of all, there is Minnow - and has there eve
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I read this to my daughters I expected nothing but a simple tale. This blew me away. The author so skillfully worked in some larger concepts that are incredibly important to our family: questioning everything, finding a purpose for living, and pursuing the answers until one reaches his/her own conclusion.

In addition to being just a lovely little story of a curious mermaid who finds a human shoe, this expands to embrace the natural inclinations of children and teaches them that questioning a
Juli Anna
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Absolutely perfect, lyrical illustrations. A sweet, identity-affirming story. And mermaids. What else could you want?
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Every time I do this, read forty picture books in a day, there's always one that I finish and sigh, "No more calls, ladies and gentlemen. We have our winner." That's this one tonight. This inky undersea fable of the littlest mermaid sister who looks for her place among her dainty, accomplished sisters, and discovers that she fits in by looking outward.

Art: tender fronds of delicate white mermaid hair and sharp inked details, with sea creatures in glowing colors or murky darks. An antique palette
Christopher Lehman
Jun 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations surround a sweet story about the littlest mermaid in the family and the discovery she makes while in search of what makes her unique. I especially love how adventurous Minnow is and the message the story sends about brave, smart girls.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is beautifully laid out. The story's not the strongest point, but the lay out and illustrations make up for it. ...more
Gabrielle Carolina
Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it!
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Five stars for the art of the illustrations; three stars for the story: averaged to four stars overall. More to follow...
Jessie Drew
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: wolfie-and-me
Story was a bit boring. The illustrations were very pretty.
Sean Cox-marcellin
Nov 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Cute story about the value of inquisitiveness. A conflict remains regrettably unresolved.

Campbell illustrated Flora & Ulysses, so this is full of illustrations both beautiful and sweet.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations in this book are hauntingly beautiful and add so much character and class to the text. The underwater world of sea creatures and mermaids are always enchanting to both the young and old alike. This tale tells the story of mighty King Neptune and his 50 (yes 50) daughters. Each of his lovely daughters has a special talent: Clio is a gifted gardener, Thetis, a fantastic fish trainer and Calypso with a singing voice like an angel. They all are extremely remarkable up until the ver ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
King Neptune’s 50 daughters are all special and talented in their own ways. All except for Minnow who tries to be like her sisters, but only manages to ask lots and lots of questions about things. Minnow did not fit in with her sisters at all, often drifting alone on her own. Then one day, she found a remarkable object in the water, a red shoe. She tried asking her sisters what it was for, but none of them knew, so Minnow headed out to answer her own questions and find out what the red object wa ...more
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I got an arc from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

King Neptune has fifty daughters who are all remarkable, except Minnow. She is trying to find her place in a family that is gifted and talented. While traveling one day, she finds a shoe and decides she will find the purpose of this object. But more then that, she is looking for her own purpose...

This was a very cute story. Very easy to read, of course, and taught some important morals. The mermaid who finds her purpose in the world.

Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received The Mermaid and the Shoe from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley, Kids Can Press, and K.G. Campbell.

I was excited when I found The Mermaid and the Shoe on Netgalley because my daughter's favorite Disney character is Ariel, so I figured she would really enjoy this mermaid story. I was right - she really liked it! Minnow is the only of King Neptune's 50 daughters who doesn't have a special talent, such as singing or gardening. Calypso makes her feel worthles
Lovely, absolutely lovely. The illustrations are reminiscent of Grimm fairy tales (except not nearly as grim). They're just as well-suited for framing as they are for the book.

Minnow reminded me of so many kids I meet at the library -- so many questions to ask and such an adventurous, exploratory personality. Minnow's feeling of "What am I good for?" is one most kids experience at some point in their lives; Campbell does a good job demonstrating that everyone is good at something, even if it's n
Avery Sage
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a fun and interesting read, and a new, but still similar twist on the mermaid tales. I really enjoyed the way all of the characters were introduced in the story and I loved how detailed the story was. I also like the story line; it was interesting and different than anything I've read before. This would be a great story to read with kids in the third or fourth grade because it discusses individuality, adventure, and hope in a cute a lovely way. The artwork is very nice. However, be advi ...more
Caryn Caldwell
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Each one of King Neptune's fifty daughters has a special talent...except Minnow. The only thing she's really good at is bugging her sisters with too many questions. But when an elegant red mystery object washes into the kingdom, Minnow is determined to find out what it is. Thus begins her beautifully-told journey of discovery.

Gorgeous illustrations and text work wonderfully well together here, adding just the right combination of whimsy, sadness, and humor whenever necessary. Minnow is a delight
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mermaid and self esteem requests
Recommended to June by: Lizzie
Neptune had 50 daughters who each had a special talent, except Minnow. Who asked "Why?" When Minnow discovers a red shoe her questions take her to the edge of the kingdom, where she not only finds answers, but also discovers her special talent.

I really enjoyed the fact that this isn't a traditional mermaid story and that it is a great story for all those "why" questioning children, hopefully encouraging them to find their own answers.

As Betsy noted children will have fun looking for Minnow's sea
Karen A.
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Has all the qualities of a good fairy tale but is quite succinct. Minnow is one of King Neptune's many daughters. Each daughter has a skill or talent but all Minnow can do is ask questions. No one thinks this is special. Until she finds a red shoe and discovers where it comes from.

Love the atmospheric illustrations with just a slight nod to Edward Gorey - just enough to give Minnow's world a sliver of darkness but not enough to take away the light. Little girls who love princess stories should l
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Received as a copy from NetGalley.

King Neptune has 50 daughters each with their own unique talents except for one, Minnow. She can't do anything except ask lots and lots and lots of questions. It is through her adventures that she not only gets answers to her questions, but learns about herself and what a gifted mermaid she is.

The illustrations are stunning. They light, airy, and watery with muted tones. It makes the story feel calm and soothing like the ocean/sea/underwater. They fit perfectly
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A story about a little mermaid named Minnow who does not know what her talent or purpose is among her very talented family. One day she finds a shoe which gives her a purpose, to find answers. So out she goes to meet many creatures and see new wonders. A fantastic book for talking about talents and how everyone has something they are good at with your child. The illustrations are hauntingly beautiful and really make you feel like you are under the sea. Absolutely gorgeous little book.
The Library Lady
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The art here is a far cry from Disney, and while to me that's a plus usually, I'm not that crazy about the style here in terms of its child friendliness. But this lovely little mermaid story,told gently and with nice little humorous twists, still will have great appeal of Ariel loving little girls. There's even a moral here too, if you like, about all of us having our special gift and just having to find it--and no handsome prince or singing crab required. ...more
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received an arc of this book in exchange for a review!

Aw what an adorable book this was! I loved the artwork, that made it so much fun to read! It was so interesting!
And the story was great too, it was very short and an easy read. It was similar to "The Little Mermaid" story, but unique in its own way, which was great.
I loved how some pages are just full of art, it was so unique!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Gustavo, the Shy Ghost
  • Spork
  • Pearl
  • The Mermaid
  • Stick and Stone
  • A Stone Sat Still
  • Maddi's Fridge
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer
  • Le Petit Loup Rouge
  • Bear Came Along
  • Just Because
  • Bats at the Library
  • Little Blue Truck's Halloween
  • Home
  • The Little Kitten
  • In the Night Kitchen
  • The World Needs More Purple People
See similar books…
K. G. Campbell is the author-illustrator of Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters. He was born in Kenya, raised in Scotland, and now lives in southern California.

News & Interviews

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
59 likes · 23 comments
“at the edge of the kingdom, where bubbles burst and the above place began.” 0 likes
More quotes…