Venus Underwater

Songs from Mermaidia

Children - Picture Book
36 Pages
Reviewed on 06/09/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

Have you ever wondered where mermaids live? I know I have. Apparently, there’s a deep underwater world called Mermaidia and it’s home to all mermaids. It’s a fun place to live and to grow up in and, most important, “mermaids live peacefully with all sea creatures and everyone is equal.” We could learn a lot from these mermaid communities. There’s a lot of interesting things we can learn about mermaids: like how merbabies come to be, and how merbabies are born with a birth tail that is individualized by what is known as shell-a-bration scales (“special markings and curious designs”). And there’s more: birth mermagrams to announce a new merbaby, daily tails and pickatail trees, and many other mermaidial wonders of the deep, shell-shockingly beautiful sea-land of mermaids.

Julia Hengst’s picture book story, Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia, is a fun look at a magical queendom. Using creative, made-up words and describing with elaborate detail a stunningly beautiful, carefree, and peaceful land of equality and fair rights, this author combines cosmetic details of life in Mermaidia with charmingly sweet songs that mermaids and their mermaid bands sing happily. I loved the illustrations and the imaginative nature of this story. Young readers will be spellbound, wanting to learn every detail of this magical, mythical queendom. The author encourages young readers to enjoy the fun and playful nature of this book and let their own imaginations take flight (or take to the waters like the mermaids). There’s nothing more powerful for a young person than to learn how to enjoy and to use their creative imagination. Beautifully told.

Kristine Zimmerman

Kids are fascinated with mermaids. In Julia Hengst’s book Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia, kids will learn more about these mysterious underwater creatures. It starts at the very beginning with how baby mermaids are made. Their birth tails are quite special and each merbaby is welcomed by the rest of the families in Mermaidia. When they are old enough to go to school, they can choose a different tail each day from the pick-a-tail tree. Mermaidia is a special place where all are welcome and protected. Mermaids also like to have fun and they can enjoy themselves at Six Tails Amusement Park. Finally, at the end of the day, it is time for mermaids to go to sleep, to the song of the Sollilow Kween.

Julia Hengst has captured the mysteriousness and joyfulness of being a mermaid. Each of her sections includes some fun and clever rhymes. Kids will love the imaginative creatures that exist in Mermaidia. I loved the Coconut Catfish who are protectors. Their weapons are cuddles. Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia also incorporates some mindfulness and self-awareness techniques. The illustrations by Esther Samuels-Davis are soft and muted, evoking the sense of being underwater. The many unusual underwater creatures are a delight to the eye. The dancing blobfish is not to be missed. Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia will be a hit, not only with mermaid fans but also with kids that enjoy poetry. Kids will enjoy immersing themselves in the magical land of Mermaidia, repeatedly. Each time they do they will find something new to enjoy.