May 28, 2018

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Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog | SLJ Review

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redstarMETAPHROG. Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. illus. by Metaphrog. 80p. Papercutz. Apr. 2017. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781629917399.

Gr 4 Up –This retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s story about a young mermaid who falls in love with a human prince and sacrifices her voice in order to become human may bewilder readers who know only the more sanitized adaptations of the tale. But those who are familiar with or curious about the original will appreciate this faithful graphic novel reworking, which incorporates the darker details of Andersen’s narrative; for instance, walking on human legs makes the mermaid feel as though she is being pierced with knives. The ending is profound and moving and entirely unlike that of the Disney version. The artwork is marvelous, dominated by watery blues and greens; radiant depictions of everything from candles and jewels to sunlight and the sea lend the illustrations a luminous quality. Andersen fans will be mesmerized, and newcomers will want to see what they’ve been missing. VERDICT Hand this one to readers eager to be swept away by a beautiful and authentic retelling; for most graphic novel collections.–Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library

This review was published in the School Library Journal June 2017 issue.

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