We are lucky enough to encounter many beautiful publications due to the research we must gather for this site. Sometimes information on mermaids is not as easy to assemble online as you might think.
We often resort to the ‘good old methods’ of popping out to our local city library or hitting up the Amazon book store. We try our best to include mermaid myths and legends within our posts as well as recent mermaid sightings.
This brings us to Mermaid Tales from Around the World – a book generously donated to us by a contributor to this site. Out of every mermaid mythology book we have been through this was by far the most beautiful and impressive publication….
Mermaid Tales from Around the World
This remarkable mermaid mythology book was penned by Mary Pope Osborne and illustrated by Troy Howell.
It reminded us that mermaids are a far cry from the lackluster Disney characters which are thrown at most moviegoers. Sure Ariel has her place in most childhood dreams but the real information on mermaids is so much more spellbinding.
Aquatic females have figured in myths and folktales all through history and Mermaid Tales from Around the World reminds us of that.
Osborne and Howell Provide us with enchanting tales of sea nymphs from 12 different cultures including:
- European Countries
- Asian Territories
- Native Americans
- Mediterranean Areas
Each story brings it’s own culture and view on these beautiful legends of the sea.
The Typical Sea Nymph
Most of the information on mermaids we encounter paints a rather romantic and helpless picture of the sea folk. This is where Mary Pope Osborne’s offering differs from the rest – it is much more interesting.
Instead of the beautiful heroine mermaid in need of some sort of knight in shining armor we are provided with much stronger and independent characters.
These are truly remarkable characters that will stay with me for the long run. Some of them are generous caring creatures whilst others are more stern and merciless. The way Osborne has retold these tales is truly sensational.
This seems to have been a labor of love for Troy Howell as the illustrations are something to behold. They seem to change or morph to fit the area of the world where each tale originated.
The regular ‘cartoon mermaid’ illustrations have been overlooked and replaced with more traditional pictures. I found the illustrations of the Irish folktale much like the Celtic signs you find on the more traditional pubs. The tale of the Greek myth of Galatea is illustrated by pictures that resemble the antique urns of that era!
Mary Pope Osborne
This mermaid mythology book is not my first encounter with this magical writer. Mary Pope Osborne was responsible for the startling Magic Tree House series for children.
She based the series on her love of travelling creating the globetrotting characters Jack and Annie. Their spellbinding adventures also offer the younger generation some subtle lessons in geography.
Our only hope is that she collaborates with Howell again in the near future to bring us yet more magical tales…