Rating: 4.5 stars
Calling all mermaid and Witch Wars fans: prepare yourself, for Sibéal Pounder’s latest series has arrived – and this time, it’s starring mermaids. As the most mermaid obsessed empolyee (possibly the only obsessed one, now I come to think about it – see this photo for evidence) at the bookshop where I work, I was extremely excited to read it as soon as I could get my fins- I mean *ahem* hands on it.
Best (mermaid) friends Beattie, Zelda, and Mimi are enjoying their summer on land with legs when they receive the traditional end of the summer crabagram from mermaid-in-charge, Arabella Cod. But, hang on a flipper, they’ve only had their legs for two weeks – summer isn’t over yet?! Noticing some strange alterations to their welcome back instructions, the trio discover that Arabella has been -gasp- fishnapped, and now there are some Bad Mermaids in charge (that’s right, they’re so bad they require capital letters to describe them). Without their legs, they have no choice but to head back to the Hidden Lagoon and find out what is going on.
With piranha surveillance teams everywhere, keeping an eye on the mermaids and restricting them from swimming around, the Lagoon isn’t the friendly, bustling metropolis the trio left behind – and, speaking of left behind, where have Zelda and Mimi’s parents been vanished to? Surely they (and the rest of the mermaids who live in the palace) haven’t been fishnapped too? Maybe it’s something to do with the mysterious mermaid going by the name of The Swan. But who is she? And what is with the matching piranha nail designs all the other mermaids have? So many questions, and Beattie, Zelda and Mimi must figure out a way to answer them all, as well as all the other questions that seem to be piling up as they delve deeper into the (metaphorical) murky waters that surround the fishnapping of Arabella Cod.
With illustrations by Jason Cockcroft bringing every inch of the watery wonderland to life in dazzling detail (oh I wish I had hair that was as cool as the mermaids in this book), this is a great summer holiday read, full of wonderful characters and fishy humour.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to enjoy a refreshing Orange Bucket Foam Shake (recipe at the back of the book, handy for those of us without mermaid contacts to call), and settle in for the wait until book two…
(This review can also be found here)