Our family is planning our first ever trip to Disney World later this year and my 10-year-old daughter’s absolute number one character that she just has to meet is Ariel from The Little Mermaid — in her underwater grotto, no less! Such is the power of mermaids.
Mermaids are beautiful and magical and live in the mysterious, dark depths of the ocean, which makes them more than a little fascinating within the creative and imaginative minds of children. This booklist is a celebration of these magical maidens, with both picture books and chapter books that are sure to have your kids dreaming of life with the mermaids under the sea.
Mermaid Picture Books
1. Fancy Nancy and the Mermaid Ballet by Jane O’Connor explores friendship and feelings of jealousy when Nancy and her best friend, Bree, hope to be cast as mermaids in their ballet school’s under-the-sea themed production.
2. There Was an Old Mermaid Who Swallowed a Shark by Lucille Colandro follows the similar repetitive chanting style of the very funny There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly — but this time with a fun mermaid twist and lots of interesting facts about life under the sea.
3. The Mermaid by Jan Brett is a beautifully illustrated underwater version of the traditional Goldilocks and the Three Bears story — starring a mermaid and an octopus family.
4. In The Singing Mermaid by Julia Donaldson, a mermaid dreams of returning to the sea after being tricked by a greedy circus owner into joining the circus. Will she ever make it back to her beloved silver sands?
5. With bright illustrations and fun rhyming verse, How to Catch a Mermaid by Adam Wallace is the tale of two clever children trying their best to catch a rather elusive mermaid!
6. Bilingual Tales: La Sirenita (The Little Mermaid) by Luz Orihuela shares Hans Christian Andersen’s traditional story of The Little Mermaid with both English and Spanish text shared side by side.
Mermaid Chapter Books
7. Using a fun diary style, Third Grade Mermaid by Peter Raymundo is the first in the series featuring Cora the mermaid. To keep her place on the very best swim team, Cora must pass her next spelling test. (If your child loves this title, check out the second book in the series, too: Third Grade Mermaid and the Narwhals.)
8. In Lacey the Little Mermaid Fairy (The Fairy Tale Fairies series) by Daisy Meadows, Jack Frost has stolen Lacey the Little Mermaid Fairy’s magical conch shell — and without it the characters from her fairy tale have escaped into the human world!
9. In Mermaid Reef (The Secret Kingdom series) by Rosie Banks, awful Queen Malice hides one of her awful thunderbolts on Mermaid Reef and it threatens to ruin the mermaid’s Sound of the Sea competition. Can Ellie, Summer, and Jasmine save the competition before it's too late?
If your children are fans of magical creatures, be sure to also check out this fun list of unicorn-loving picture books.