The Little Mermaid

Publisher: Orchard


Delphine is a mermaid princess and lives with her sisters in their undersea kingdom. On her birthday, Delphine is allowed to swim to the surface and see the odd world above she usually only sees as shadows. When she glimpses a prince on board a grand ship, she falls in love.

Desperately in love, Delphine goes to the Sea Witch and asks her for a potion to turn her into a human so she may go ashore and be with the prince. The Sea Witch grants her wish, but at a high price, taking Delphine’s beautiful singing voice in return. Worse, when the princess’ fish tail changes into legs, every step she takes on land will feel like walking on knives.

Undeterred, Delphine seeks out the prince, knowing that the Sea Witch’s terrible bargain also means that if he falls in love with someone else, she will dissolve into sea foam. Yet when the worst happens, her sisters are there to help.

McCaughrean has written an alternative happy ending to Hans Christian Andersen’s tragic and bloody tale, so while this stunningly illustrated version is for the most part faithful, young readers and listeners won’t be too disturbed by Delphine’s story.

Share this page with your friends

More books like this

Princess BMX

Author: Marie Basting Illustrator: Flavia Sorrentino

Princess Avariella is heir to the throne of the magical kingdom of Biscotti. Bored of behaving with grace and decorum, she gets a BMX bike. A fast-paced contemporary fairy tale with quirky characters, a hilarious plot and funny black-and-white illustrations.

Read more about Princess BMX

The Cherry Pie Princess

Author: Vivian French Illustrator: Marta Kissi

When a bad fairy plots to kidnap the baby prince, Princess Peony must act fast to save her brother. Engaging characters, plenty of humour and a smattering of magic combine in this contemporary fairy tale for confident independent readers.

Read more about The Cherry Pie Princess