Title: The Mermaid Atlas
Author: Anna Claybourne
Illustrator: Miren Asiain Lora
What is a Mermaid Atlas I hear you ask, well let me tell you…
It is a magical compendium of all the stories, legends, and eyewitness accounts of merfolk across the globe! Starting with Miren’s beautiful Mermaid Map of Europe, Anna tells us about all the different mermaids known across the region. From the famous Little Mermaid of Denmark to spooky Rusalka of Western Russia.
From Europe, we are transported to Africa where we meet Yemoja (“mother fish”) of Nigeria and learn the enchanting tale of space mermaids told by the Dogon people of Mali. Then it’s off to Asia and we meet many new mermaids including Matsta of India and the fearful Ningyo of Japan who can give you eternal life. Next, we visit Oceania which is packed with mermaids from the region, like Maori mermaid, Pania of New Zealand.
Finally, we go off to North and South America ending with the wily Iara of Brazil who love to outwit travellers. The account of each mermaid varies in length and there are some beautiful longer features on some of the mermaids, like Melsuine of France, half mermaid half fairy, though her story is tragic.
All the elements of this book are perfectly balanced. After each continent is one double page spread in black and white that tells us about other mermaid facts. From their homes, magic powers and eye-witness accounts to ancient mermaids and mistaken identity.
This beautiful compendium of the world’s merfolk is one of a kind. It would make a wonderful gift – but you’ll probably want to buy yourself a copy too!
Publisher: Laurence King Publishing
Publication date: 1 June 2020
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. This voluntary review contains my honest opinion.