By Author / Illustrator
Sibeal Pounder, Jason Cockcroft
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Paperback / softback
Following her Witch Wars series, Sibeal Pounder turns her attention to the aquatic world and begins a sparkling new set of adventures. Mermaids Beattie, Mimi and Zelda are enjoying a rare outing on dry land when they receive a mysterious crabagram. Strange things are happening in their wondrous waterlogged homeland, the hidden lagoon, and their imperious leader, Arabella Cod, has disappeared. Hurtling back, they find their friends and family gone and seriously bad mermaids on the loose! Their adventures on dry land have made them somehow immune to the ever-present threat of piranhas so they begin to investigate and dive head-first into a madcap underwater adventure! Bad Mermaids is full of fun and there are plenty of fishy puns but I felt that there were a few gaps in the story and the profusion of characters, places and plot strands could be a little confusing for the intended audience. I loved the sardonic Steve, the girls' talking seahorse companion who provided a good foil for all the frivolity, and the girls themselves are stylish and savvy heroines. The format, peppered as it is with illustrations and newspaper reports is lively and accessible and sure to appeal to a wide audience, and the ending nicely sets-up a sequel. All in all, a fantastic blend of fish, fashion and fun! 243 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by Clare Wilkins, school librarian.
Suggested Reading Age 7+