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on 15 April 2012
A Hans Christian Anderson story that is well worth the read. Note all the pictures are in black and white being very few of them but this doesn't detract from an excellent read. As you know this is not the Disney version of the Little Mermaid it is its original precursor. A sad tale to be sure but one with an uplifting ending when she attains an eternal soul. It would have been nice for Anderson to have wrote a sequel regarding her lives after accomplishing this goal and maybe her meeting up with the Prince in a following lifetime but this was overlooked, a pity but you can't expect everything.
Overall a must read for mermaid fans- because children didn't really know about them until this book was created.
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on 6 April 2017
good cheers
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on 25 December 2009
Having read numerous versions of the story to my daughter you forget how beautiful the original version is (translated but unabridged). The story is too long to be read in one sitting at bedtime - unless you're happy reading for half an hour. The illustrations are incredible each one perfectly complementing the different stages in the story. Would really benefit from Look Inside functionality - you can see the illustrations on Christian Birmingham's website.
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on 27 January 2011
Having read several adaptations of this tale and come across a few people who don't know the original ending of the story and whose views are based on the Disney adaptation I felt compelled to write my own review of this book. In my opinion, the meaning of the original tale was lost in the Disney film and the protagonist was not accurately portrayed.

Without giving too much away, the story is about a curious mermaid's quest for love. She suffers and sacrifices much to be with the one she loves, however, the course of love does not run smoothly and the ending here is a tragic one.

This is a faithful translation of the original story if you want to read it to your child and the illustrations that capture the ethereal world of the little mermaid alone is worth purchasing. You can see some of the illustrations if you google Christian Birmingham books illustrated.

In summary, if you are dithering over which version of The Little Mermaid to buy for both children and grown ups then this is the one.
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on 22 December 2000
The origional story of "The Little Mermaid" is a beautiful story, I also love the Disney version, but this was pure magic. The ilustrations in this book are beautiful and capture the emotions of the story. If you hated the Disney version, give this one a try, you won't be dissapointed.
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on 16 September 2010
If, as I did, you want to buy a book that you can keep for years and pass down to your children then I highly recommend this version. The illustrations are beautiful with a dreamy quality and the book itself screams quality with nice thick pages and a strong hardback cover. It's a very large book also and the text is a nice size, perfect for reading aloud with your young ones or reliving your childhood. The tale itself is a classic and needs no explanation and as most will know it's got a very different ending to the famous Disney version and although its sad it's also very poignant. Highly recommended.
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on 6 May 2012
I bought this as I am a fan of the illustrator, Christian Birmingham. The story itself is a faithful adaptation, and therefore possibly a little dark for younger children - the vocabulary is quite advanced too. I would probably recommmend for 8-10 year olds ideally. Stunning pictures though!
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on 10 February 2010
Naomi Lewis' style is unmistakably elegant and precise. She once told a friend that she wrote everything first in poetry, and then converted it to prose before submitting it for publication! One individual aspect of her writing that appeals to both adults and children is the use of the second person - there's an example on the very first page; describing the bottom of the sea, she writes "Now you must not think for a moment that there is nothing down below but bare white sand. No, indeed ..."

As a book that she prepared for publication in her 96th year, at a time when Naomi was unable to read, and needing a great deal of support from carers and friends, this is a testament to indomitable courage.

The exquisite illustrations by Christian Birmingham on every page almost take one's breath away. This must be one of the most beautifully crafted children's books of all time.
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on 23 May 2012
This is a stunning book. The story is wonderfully told and the illustrations are exquisite. I really hope that this is something that my little girl will come to treasure and read to her children over time as it is just so charming.
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on 18 July 2012
The original version is blunter and more tragic than the Disney adaptation, which I saw as a child. I was unaware that there was an original version to the tale. I had always assumed the Disney version of the story was the only version, so was surprised to come across the original, from which the animation was adapted.

This is a brilliant short story, and is tragically heartbreaking, but well worth the read. Warning, if you're expecting a happy ending like the Disney version, then remove those expectations now!

I highly recommend this book, and wish the original was brought to my attention much earlier.
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