Since joining Bookroo my family and I have received some really awesome books; I opted for the chapter books that way I can read to them for a fun story time. I always remember having books read to me as a child and wanted to be able to pass that on to my children. Also chapter books are something that they can read when they are old enough to read themselves and still be able to enjoy them even years from now. One of the books we have gotten in one of our boxes is a chapter book by Cornelia Funke called “Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid’s Tale”. We began reading this book for our homeschooling about a month or so ago; I believe sometime in September while simultaneously reading a couple of others that I plan to write about here in the future. Some where in September the idea of attempting to keep my four year old focused on schooling was just a pipe-dream and eventually let that go. I could tell he was just not ready for school at home and since his brother had gone back to public school the month prior I guess I just didn’t feel the need to push him. I mean he is 4 years old and a bit of a zig zagging all over the place kind of kid who has the attention span of a fly if you know what I mean. While schooling was over and all that didn’t mean that we couldn’t still read as that is something that we loved to do just because.
We finally finished our little book last week; it took longer than it actually takes to read the book because of life and only reading here and there but we did it! If you know anything about me as a parent you would know that I am really feeling great about getting yet another book under the old belt because I haven’t been much of a reader in a very long time. In a time when you spend quite a lot of time at home you more than likely like myself would pick up some new skills or hobbies to help pass the time. I have even started to read another chapter book that we received in a box myself or really whenever anyone will listen to me read it as my kids weren’t interested in a chapter book without pictures in it just yet. No worries I am quite enjoying the said book and when I finish it I will write about it as well.
To the book at hand “Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid’s Tale” it is a chapter book intended for ages 7-10 yrs & a reading level of 2-5. I don’t feel that just because a book is intended for a certain age group that it means it should be read by just that age group well depending on what that book is about would be the only reason I can think of to why a kid couldn’t read a book intended for a more mature audience. Otherwise I don’t see a problem! The book is a chapter book but it is a good read for kids or directed towards kids because it has a good amount of color filled illustrations intertwined throughout its pages. Within those pages are some fun activities that I will fill you in on here soon. Each chapter in this book doesn’t take too long to read and there are roughly 3-6 pages in each for reading amongst the other pages that are illustrated.
The book brings an interesting twist to how humans may be perceived by the underwater world. I think that this perspective is fun to see unfold especially from an entirely different world. Join two merpups (kid mermaid’s) on an adventure in their underwater world where they come to find that maybe their parents might actually know what they are talking about. They learn a lesson and meet some new and interesting figures; some friend & some foe. As you read you are taken on the journey that they will never forget and that will have forever changed their little lives.
Since both of my boys are still not readers for themselves and well my 6 year old is just now beginning to read but not ready for this level of book on his own I am the one who did the reading for this book. As I read through I learned a couple of things; one this was a great book for someone who was older than 4 which is expected. The second being that it was a little bit hard to get into the story line as an adult I should have been able to theoretically jump right in but for the first couple of chapters it was a bit hard to follow, but I was determined to finish it with or with out my listeners. I finished it with my 6 year old who soon decided he enjoyed it about half way through when it started to get a bit more interesting for him. More action & mystery I presume. My 4 year old wasn’t super into this one and that is okay as it wasn’t really for a 4 year old but still suitable for him to listen too if that makes sense. The first half of this book is all about giving a background about the characters both underwater and on land which is expected however the way that the book just jumps into the story makes it a little hard to get into it at first. Like I mentioned the real interesting parts weren’t until after a couple chapter’s or so. To help liven it up a bit I started making different voices to go along with each character because it was hard to get into the mind and that did seem to help the younger listening group.
I really wanted to love this book and it is great but about half way through in my opinion; I don’t love it but I like it. It has a good lesson for kids who don’t want to listen to parents or the rules teaching them that there are consequences for disobeying. Doing some things that you are told not to do can lead to danger and that there are reasons for rules. I would read it again so I did enjoy reading it, just not an easy one to get into. During the introduction of the characters I did enjoy seeing the different perspectives of the different characters for instance the Mermaid people see the humans so differently from the way most humans see the ocean and its creatures in it. Makes you think about things a bit more which is a good lesson to include in a book like this directed toward kids who are still learning.
Something I discovered while I was researching the author of this book Cornelia Funke is that the book was originally written in German and that this version I read was a translation from the original book; this may have a big part in why the book was a little awkward in the beginning. It could explain why it may have been hard to connect to the book. I assume it was translated correctly otherwise I probably would see more complaints on other reviews over the book when I researched it and the author. It is just that sometimes different language barriers can translate differently but correctly. I don’t have any idea if this is the reason why it was a little awkward it is just my opinion and would explain it a bit.
Earlier I mentioned some fun activities that this book has hidden in its pages; what did I mean is what you are probably wondering!? So at the very end of the book there is a section dedicated to activities that the author snuck into the book to make reading so much more fun for the kids. It includes a board game printed on one of the illustrations you see above. You add your own game pieces and use your own dice but the rest on how to play is located in the book ideally after you have read through it but I suppose you could just skip ahead. Also there are fun hidden objects through out the illustrations that makes a sort of I Spy game that could be played alone or with other readers just as well. This would be especially great on a long car ride or similar situation. I thought that these were a great way to interact with the reader/readers of this book which allowed to bring it more to life than just reading the words on its pages. I figured I would give you a sneak peek in the picture above but if you want to know how to play and what fun hidden objects to find in the books illustrated pages then you will just have to purchase it or check it out at your local Library.
That brings me to the next topic how much does this book cost new? As I mentioned above I mean way up there; my family received this book in our monthly Bookroo box where the books in the box is to be worth more or pretty much the same amount of the monthly box price by pretty much the books we have received have all been well worth it and always come to a total well above the monthly box cost which makes it so awesome! This book costs $9.99 US / $13.99 CAN brand new. I found it on Amazon for $9.59 brand new US hardcover or $9.99 US Kindle. The book we have is a hardcovered book. I supposed you could try to find it used for cheaper if you looked on the right site such as eBay or Facebook Swap. I think that if you have a kid who is into the creatures of the sea or maybe even just you and love reading fun adventurous stories/books this book would be worth at least checking out. Perhaps at your local library if you aren’t yet committed to buying it for yourself.
In a conclusion for my thoughts on this book I would have to say that I do think it is a good book to read and it does have some good lessons in it for young readers. I love that it takes you into a whole different world that kind of connects the world that us humans know but also gives a new perception of what the underwater world of the oceans may be like like if you ever think about what the sea creatures really think about us humans sort of imagination perspective! It is worth checking out; maybe you will find a fun new story that is a hit as a new family favorite!
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