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The Singing Mermaid by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks

The Singing Mermaid is the perfect read for a time of year when we’re dreaming of seaside holidays. This beautifully illustrated, tactile, rhyming story demonstrates that even the biggest problems can be solved with a little help from your friends.

The Story: Circus owner Sam Sly hears the mermaid singing while he is walking along the beach at Silversands. He lures her back to his circus with promises of fame and a life of luxury but he has lied. The mermaid shares a caravan with Annie the acrobat and sleeps in a fishtank. She pleads for Sam to release her but her pleas fall on deaf ears. When the circus returns to Silversands, a seagull and Annie help the mermaid to plan her escape…

The mermaid is very gullible, despite her friends’ warnings she joins Sam Sly’s circus only to discover that the reality is very different to her dream of fame and riches. Although the mermaid makes friends in the circus her heart remains in Silversands. But how can a mermaid escape from a caravan when she doesn’t have any legs? Thanks to Annie and a clever seagull, the mermaid finds a way to return to the sea (but we’re not going to spoil the story and tell you how!).

Lydia Monk’s illustrations are beautiful and really tactile. The pictures are embossed and glittery and you can’t help stroking them as your read! My favourite spread shows the mermaid singing to the sea creatures which include glittery seahorses and jellyfish. My daughter loves the picture showing the mermaid with her circus friends – dogs, a cat, a juggler, a clown and Annie. The rhyming text is bouncy and easy to read which makes it a fun book for reading aloud but also a great book for beginner readers.

The Singing Mermaid would be a lovely book to include in a classroom topic about the sea. The first double spread shows the mermaid singing under the sea, there are lots of different (glittery) marine creatures for children to identify.

A lovely story for any child who loves mermaids (and glitter!), there is also a CD to accompany the book.

Age Range: 3 to 6

Author: Julia Donaldson / Illustrator: Lydia Monks

Do you have a favourite picture book written by Julia Donaldson?


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16 responses to “The Singing Mermaid by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks”


  1. Loving life with little ones avatar

    We bought this book as a treat for our 3 year old to surprise her at bedtime on holiday, it was from Tesco and came with a 6 inch plush toy mermaid, we read the book goodness how many times that week and she still goes to bed with the toy #pocolo


    1. Catherine avatar

      I haven’t seen the plush toy mermaid but I know somebody here who would like it 🙂


  2. Claire avatar

    What a lovely book! We are big fans of this author and illustrator combination but as yet do not have this book! It looks like our bookshelves may have a new occupant very soon! #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s one of our favourite author / illustrator combinations too 🙂


  3. Single Mother Ahoy avatar

    I saw this on the shelf in our local book shop the other day and considered buying it – it looks so lovely #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      We found our copy in a charity shop while we were going through a mermaid phase, we weren’t disappointed 🙂


  4. Kim Carberry avatar

    My girl loves mermaids….hehehe This sounds like a lovely book x


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s perfect for a mermaid lover 🙂


  5. Emily avatar

    I love Julia Donaldson. I’m taking my girls to see Room on the Broom this week. #Readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      Enjoy! I would love to see Room on the Broom – it’s one of my daughter’s favourite books!


  6. chantelle hazelden avatar

    we borrowed this from the library a couple of weeks ago, such an entertaining book, the mix of quirky illustrations and funny writing appeals to all my kids, thanks for sharing with #readwithme x


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a fun story and the mermaid’s escape plan is genius 🙂


  7. Baby Isabella avatar

    We have that book too! Find its a bit of a tongue twister but very good fun. I’m fascinated by all the glitter and the beach scene. x great book review #PoCoLo


    1. Catherine avatar

      The beach and underwater scenes are my favourites 🙂


  8. sarah avatar

    Aww, this sounds like a fantastic book! My daughter would like this.
    Lovely review, thank you for posting. #PoCoLo


    1. Catherine avatar

      The Julia Donaldson / Lydia Monk partnership is one of my favourites. Lydia’s illustrations are stunning 🙂

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