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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old




*The Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep* by Ari Berk- young readers book review
 
Also by Ari Berk:

William Shakespeare: His Life and Times

The Secret History of Giants
The Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep
by Ari Berk
Ages 8-12 48 pages Candlewick September 2009 Hardcover    

Ari Berk first wrote about the secret world of giants. His second book takes us to the secret world under the water.

This is where Atargatis, the oldest mermaid could have been found, where Tritons lived their adventurous lives, where Cornish merfolk swam under fish, and the mer-eel hunted for food at a depth of 6500 feet. Communicating with their tails or through song, merfolk lived in undersea caves and villages as well as in shipwrecks. To keep themselves safe, they used tridents, swords, daggers, and arrows topped with shells or shark teeth.

A map of the oceans shows where the merfolk have been sighted, and booklets list merfolk songs, sayings and charms. Gatefolds open to reveal encounters with sea folk and details about the appearance and anatomy of merfolk.

The exterior of The Secret History of Mermaids is as beautiful as its interior. The colors and scenes evoke a magical seascape. In addition, the placement of the blue tassel and jewels on the cover and the interactive gatefolds, and booklets (one shaped like a shell) give the book an atmosphere of mystery and magic.

Although the narrative is descriptive and tells the story of merfolk history, there are no references included in the book. The book does provide an abundance of information about merfolk, though. The illustrations show both the beautiful and the monstrous merfolk. Ari Berk also includes interesting history about P.T. Barnumís mermaid specimen, old stories about encounters with creatures such as the Kraken and the Sirens, and humor as shown in an illustration of a rejected Theory of Evolution.

A professor at Central Michigan University, Ari Berk is the author of The Secret History of Giants. He has written several books for adults and children on the topic of myths.
 
Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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