A Treasury of Mermaids: Mermaid Tales from Around the World

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9780060238766: A Treasury of Mermaids: Mermaid Tales from Around the World

Enter the mermaid's realm, where brightly colored fish dart through strands of seaweed and noble octopi guard the gates of underwater palaces.

From the ice floes of Alaska to the islands of the Mediterranean Sea to the reefs of New Zealand, the power of a magical water maiden is matched only by her unpredictability. For who can guess what may happen when a mermaid finds herself face-to-face with a human?

Gathered from the diverse cultures, the stories in this collection tell of mortals who strive to capture mermaids--and mermen--as well as those who seek to rescue them from peril; mortals who entice mermaids to live on dry land, and those who dare follow mermaids under the waves. And here, too, are the fates of those fortunate--or follish--enough to listen to the mermaid's appealing song.

Renowed author and folklorist Shirley Climo presents tales of mystical merfolk from around the globe. Accompained by stunning illustrations from Jean and Mou-sien Tseng, the stories are woven together with threads of international mermaid lore, presenting a world of watery enchantment.A catch of international mermaids, from a Japanese ningyo and a Swiss nix to an Irish merrow and an Alaskan nuquot, swim through the pages of this elegant gift volume. Drawing on the folklore of diverse cultures, renowned author Shirley Climo presents a multi-faceted view of merfolk, exploring the promises and perils of meeting these creatures. Accompanied by stunning paintings from the brushes of Jean and Mou-sien Tseng, the stories in this collection are woven together with insightful introductions comparing and contrasting the myths of many lands. Lavishly designed and illustrated, this beautiful book is the definitive collection of mermaid lore.

A catch of international mermaids, from a Japanese ningyo and a Swiss nix to an Irish merrow and an Alaskan nuquot, swim through the pages of this elegant gift volume. Drawing on the folklore of diverse cultures, renowned author Shirley Climo presents a multi-faceted view of merfolk, exploring the promises and perils of meeting these creatures. Accompanied by stunning paintings from the brushes of Jean and Mou-sien Tseng, the stories in this collection are woven together with insightful introductions comparing and contrasting the myths of many lands. Lavishly designed and illustrated, this beautiful book is the definitive collection of mermaid lore.

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About the Author:

Shirley Climo's love of folklore began in her childhood and has provided the background for many of her children's books, such as The Korean Cinderella, Magic & Mischief: Tales from Cornwall, A Treasury of Princesses: Princess Tales from Around the World, A Treasury of Mermaids: Mermaid Tales from Around the World, and Someone Saw a Spider: Spider Facts and Folktales, an NCTE Teacher's Choice and Library of Congress Best Children's Book that was originally inspired by her research for Cobweb Christmas. Mrs. Climo and her husband live in Los Altos, California.



People often ask what it is like for two artists to collaborate on the illustrations of a book. We think it is an exciting challenge and a learning experience. Throughout this process we share and develop our different ideas. We are constantly amazed that two minds can have so much in common and yet be so different, but we strongly believe that two minds are better than one.

"After carefully studying and exchanging our preliminary ideas about a manuscript, we work separately on thumbnail sketches. When our sketches are ready, we review them together and determine the most suitable drawing for each page. Then we begin to work on the full-size sketches. We focus on style, pose, expression, color, texture--every detail is carefully considered. We also keep in contact with the editor and author to exchange and discuss ideas. When everybody agrees that the full-size sketches are just right, we go on to finish the illustrations.

"Jean specializes in color, sensation, and effect, while Mou-Sien is more likely to originate ideas about composition. Collaboration means more time and effort, but when the whole process is complete and the final vision appears, it is all worthwhile. We're glad that we make a good team."

Jean and Mou-Sien were classmates at the Fine Art Department of the National Normal University in Taiwan. After graduation, they married and worked as teachers, designers, and illustrators. They also worked for a UNICEF Project in Taiwan, editing and designing 165 picture books-thirty of which they illustrated themselves. Their book Lovely Toys won the 1971 Golden Book Award for the best picturebook illustration. Mou-Sien also won the Golden Goblet Award for Excellent Achievement at Chinese Painting in 1990.

When they immigrated to the U. S. in 1974, they each tried a new profession. Jean was a textile designer and Mou-Sien worked for a film company. After three years, they decided to return to fine arts and illustration.

Jean vividly remembers reading a picture book in a bomb shelter when she was a young girl in Japan during World War II. "My fascination with the picture book let me forget the terrifying world outside. Now that I have the chance to help create these tales, that memory reminds me of the magic and power that can be possible."

The Tsengs live and work in Glen Cove, New York.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-7. Climo has selected eight highly readable folktales from countries as far apart as Iceland and New Zealand and from cultures as diverse as Scotland and Japan. She includes both the familiar, such as "Odysseus and the Sirens," and the unusual, such as "Hansi and the Nix," with moods ranging from the humorous "Mrs. Fitzgerald the Merrow" to the heartrending "Pania of the Reef." Each tale begins with a one-page description of the story's motif and its place in the world of mermaid lore. The selections are approximately six pages each in length and are told in flowing language that is both easy to read and pleasant to hear. The plot lines are logical and the characters are clearly delineated within their cultural parameters. Words such as "ukpik" (Alaskan for "owl") and "kopu" (Maori for "morning star") are italicized and explained in context, while an appendix gives pertinent source notes. The Tsengs' full-page watercolors capture the subtle colors of the creatures' watery environs while including details of both the settings and the tales' cultural backgrounds. Smaller and simpler pen-and-ink drawings focus on critical moments within each story. As with the author's A Treasury of Princesses (HarperCollins, 1996), this collection does a fine job of gathering a variety of tales into one place, and it is sure to satisfy young mermaid fans and add greatly to their knowledge of the lore (and lure) of these mythical creatures.?Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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