There are so many wonderful Julia Donaldson stories available and this one is as lyrical as ever. The first thing that you notice of course is the glitter and my two daughters (aged 4 and 5) think that this is a fantastic book. Each and every page has glitter and not just a token amount either. The glitter isn't randomly spread, but has been used to highlight characters, their clothes, scenery, marine-life and much, much more.
The glitter is all just an added bonus to the beautiful illustrations (by Lydia Monk), which are bright and fun, with lots of enchanting little details, so that there is always something new to spot, no matter how many times you re-read the book. If you have read "What the Ladybird Heard" or "Sharing a Shell", which are collaborations by the same writer and illustrator, then you'll not be disappointed by their new offering.
Apart from being sparkly, the glittery areas area also slightly raised and bumpy, which delighted my girls as they kept running their fingers over the page to find more glittery patches. An added bonus is that the glitter seems to be well attached to the book and doesn't shed everywhere (as it often seems to with greetings cards!)
The story itself includes the singing mermaid (naturally) and a misguided decision to trust the promises of a good old fashioned greedy villain named Sam Sly, the owner of a circus. Whilst it is clear that Sly Sam is the bad guy, the writing and the illustration don't make him a frightening figure, which is a relief when you want a good bedtime story! As you would expect, there is a wonderfully happy ending following a daring and challenging escape - all thanks to the Singing Mermaid's friends, both old and new.
Some people might not think it as original and clever as some of Donaldson's other titles, but I think it has been skilfully written, with some fantastic rhymes and the story itself has a nice twist in the tale. If you have a child who is mad about mermaids or goes giggly over glitter - then this is a must. My girls have asked me to read it every night since it arrived!