Welcome to this week’s Fantastic Fiction for Kids, which today is brought to us courtesy of Cathy James of NurtureStore. Cathy is a mother of two girls aged 3 and 7, and her blog is utterly wonderful – dedicated to giving children the best start in life by nurturing them through play. The blog is full of crafts, activities and ideas you can use at home – all tried, tested and approved by her own kids. Although I’ve failed miserably so far to sow our own sunflowers with the girls, I particularly like Cathy’s Sunflower Club and am determined to become a member soon – especially has we had such fun last year!
Cathy’s chosen the theme of Mermaids for today’s Fantastic Fiction for Kids post. So without further ado I hand you over to her:
Jane Ray is a favourite in our house as both her language and illustrations are simply beautiful. This story tells the tale of a lonely little girl called Eliza, who lives by the sea with her father. Dad is a fisherman and everyday he asks Eliza what kind of fish she would like him to bring her for tea, but all she wants is a mermaid. One day she meets a girl called Freya on the beach and the two become best friends. Eliza slowly realises who Freya really is and this leads her to face a decision with repercussions for the two friends. This is a very special tale which allows children to think about what true friendship means.
In this book Lily rescues a tiny mermaid called Delphi, who has been hurt in a storm. Delphi stays in the fish tank in Lily’s bedroom until she gets better and then the two friends head off for an adventure under the sea. This is a great read before a trip to the beach, as it will inspire young readers to go hunting through rockpools to see if they can find a mermaid of their own.
This is my 3-year old’s favourite bedtime story and is one of the ‘Princess Evie’ series. In this volume Princess Evie sets off for a magical adventure with her pony Neptune and ends up under the sea helping a mermaid search for a pink pearl. After meeting an assortment of sea creatures, all ends happily and they arrive at the Mermaid Queen’s Parade just in time. There is an added treat with this book as it comes with a toy pony, which you can pop out of the back of the book and play with to create adventures of your own.
This is a lively, rhyming tale where a little girl imagines what life would be like if she and her mum really were mermaids. It’s a good story to spark off some imaginary play, where your children can dress up and live the life of a mermaid too.
If your children are captured by the idea of mermaids nothing beats a trip to the seaside where you can explore rock pools and find pebbles and shells to play with back at home. (If you’re not near the sea, we’ve found our local fishmonger is a great source of empty shells too.)
A lovely way to make some under the sea art is by using waterpaints (watercolours) combined with wax crayons. Use a large piece of paper so you have lots of room and use your wax crayons to draw a mermaid land deep below the waves. When your drawing is finished you can use the water paints to add the sea. We mixed together blues and greens to make a shade we liked and then, using a wide paint brush, we washed the waterpaint right over the top of our drawing.
The wax crayons resist the waterpaint giving you a beautiful effect. Once it’s dry you could use it as a backdrop, add some real pebbles and shells, and enjoy some small-world pretend play.
In additions to Cathy’s great suggestion for an undersea mermaid picture here are some more mermaid crafts you could try:
And of course, you’ll need some mermaid music to dance and swim around to so here are some suggestions from music we’ve enjoyed:
A big thank you to Cathy for such a great post. I know her book selection will come in useful here in a couple of week’s time – it’s nearly J’s birthday and a little birdie told me she is getting some mermaid-y presents…. Please let us know your favourite mermaid books, stories and crafts and do pop over to Cathy’s NurtureStore and say hi!