The Book That Made Me: Nicola Davies 15/05/19
Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid lives happily under the sea, but her older sisters' tales of what they see on the surface of the water start to make her yearn for something more.
Sure enough, when the Little Mermaid comes of age, she is enchanted by a handsome prince she spies on board a human ship, and, in a powerful storm, rescues him. But only the sea witch can make her into a woman so that they can be together, and the price of legs is high. The Little Mermaid cannot make the Prince fall in love with her, but she knows that if she cannot, she cannot return home either.
Andersen's original version of the Little Mermaid is neither very empowering or happy, but the macabre and sorrowful nature of old fairy tales has an enduring appeal. Metaphrog's lovely illustration of the classic tale features deep, jewel-like hues and all the underwater magic you could hope for.