Bad Mermaids

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       September 12, 2017


Author  Sibéal Pounder, illustrated by Jason Cockroft

Distributor:      Bloomsbury
ISBN:                 9781408877128
Publisher:         Bloomsbury Children
Release Date:   August 2017  


The front cover of this book is enticing, with mermaids sparkles and bling. For the reader, the story begins with three young mermaids who have cast off their tails and replaced them with legs. This will ensure they fit in with others on their summer beach holiday. As the title suggests, there is trouble in the underwater home of these three young holiday makers, and they are notified of this by a crab-a-gram. They must instantly return home to help out.

 The author has designed the story in an interesting way. After a chapter or two, there is an entry by an underwater journalist. Clamzine is the Official newspaper of the undersea world, but a rival paper has just begun. It is called The Scribbled Squid. They promise not to write “News and facts and nice things, but gossip and lies.” So the story is punctuated with entries from both papers.

 Back to our mermaids though; they have decided to return home to find out what problems are besetting their kingdom. It appears that Piranha fish have invaded their streets, and are watching and monitoring everyone. Because the three mermaids were on holiday, they haven’t been marked with a Piranha sign and so are as yet undetected by the fish. This will help them move about the palace to discover what is happening. After being trapped in the throne room, some tense moments follow as the fishy detectives evade a sniffer Piranha, and escape with a diary, showing the movements of the lost leader of the group, Arabella Cod. 

 They have to track her down and help her escape, and for that you need a car of course. A shell car! The mermaids need to travel great distances to discover the whereabouts of Arabella, and they encounter many dangerous situations. Being caught in fish lips can be deadly, and also being caught up in a game of Shockey can be just as dangerous and exhausting.

 The author has cleverly used many creative ideas to make the underwater kingdom appealing, for example the drive in, where people travelling with whales are not allowed in for safety reasons. On the menu are Puffer Fish Flatners for twelve clatters. The humour in this story is both visual from the illustrations and verbal as the young mermaids have, Oh, so many human traits. To end the story, we are given a recipe for Foam Shakes, “It will be just like you’re deep underwater at the Orange Bucket in Lobstertown.”