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The Secret History of Mermaids Hardcover – September 8, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Fish in a Tree
Make This Summer A Classic
The uplifting and unforgettable New York Times bestselling, Schneider Award-winner that's perfect for fans of "Wonder." Hardcover | Kindle book | See more for ages 9-12
$11.44 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Frequently Bought Together

  • The Secret History of Mermaids
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Total price: $37.73
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Lavish...comprehensive...What more could a young, fantasy marine biologist desire besides, perhaps, an actual mermaid?"
--Bookloons

"The Secret History of Mermaids and Creatures of the Deep is a MUST. It is by far one of the most visually appealing and engaging books I have seen in a long time."
--Book4yourkids.com

About the Author

Ari Berk is a writer, visual artist, and scholar of literature, folklore, and myth. He has written everything from academic works on ancient cultures to popular books about myths for children and adults. A professor at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, Ari Berk has traveled widely and made friends (aquatic and otherwise) in many parts of the world.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Nov Gift edition (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076364515X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763645151
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Is it the tail? The singing? Is it the hint of hidden treasures glimmering in the deeps? All of these I think, and more -- the sense of a secret life beneath the waves that maybe, if we peer very hard through the foam on a trip to the seaside, we can glimpse in some part but never share.

With that thwarted desire in mind, Professor Berk has contrived with the Oceanic powers to reveal the enchantments, language, and lives of the merfolk and other sea folk. Under his guidance we wander through a Mer village, examine the lore of shells, mirrors and mermaid grooming tips. It is a pity that mermaids are so shy that of all the fabulous illustrations, almost none are of the maids themselves. Instead there are fold-outs, envelopes, tail-flips decoded and charms defined.

As with the other books in this series, the reader is assumed to be a young person of good intelligence and reading skills, with an interest in the mysteries and enchantments of the world, although adults will find it equally fascinating on every page. In amongst the fanciful content is a rich trove of legendary matter, from Atlantis to seamen's tales to circus hoaxes. It's a book the reader can return to again and again for all the little things you miss the first time through. Open it anywhere, and find a world of music and wonder.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a neat book but not quite what I was expecting. I purchased this book with my seven year old in mind and expected a book with a lot more pictures of mermaids but mostly what you get is trivia upon other so-called creatures of the deep. Thus, if what you are looking for is a book centered on mermaids and maybe directed for a younger audience I would not recommend this one and would instead direct you to a book such as "The Mermaid's Treasure". Said this, for a little more of a sophisticated reader (I would say 10 years old up) this is a neat book with real nice illustrations.
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Format: Hardcover
If your kids love the "ology" books (Dragonology, Wizardology, etc.) then they will adore this beautiful book about one of our favorite mythological creatures...the Mermaid. The illustrations are very well done, and I must say that the book on a whole makes a great presentation. Just beautiful! It's the perfect gift for any child you know that loves mermaids. I don't really know any little girls that don't! A great birthday or holiday gift. It's a substantial book that looks like it cost far more than it does.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not for small children ~ This book is so different and hard to explain but it is a wonderful book! Buy it and see for yourself. It is almost as if I was a Merfolk reading about useful Sayings and charms of the Merfolk or Fluke signs ~ The Sea and It's meaning ~ Language and Communication and on and on.
I did not know what to expect but this wasn't it and I am THRILLED!!!!
It is so different and very awesome...
I love the book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i bought this book for my 10 year old daughter, shes obsessed with mermaids! i didn't expect that id read it myself as well, its a fascinating book, while its very imaginative..its also a bit realistic and educational! its beautifully designed, very well made book! if your looking for a more mature take on mermaids for your daughter, or to foster the imagination of yourself..this is the book!!!! it even has pretty jewels on the front..and the illustrations are wonderful..along with the legends..folklore..and fantasy! we love this book!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was smaller than I imagined. The cover is beautiful, but my 8 yr. old granddaughter hated the photos on the inside. They were morbid and scary. She refuses to read the book because she said it was too creepy. I will put it away for a few years and bring it out when she's older and see if she likes it any better.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter has a collection of special books, the magical kind, that I remember having as a kid. This book makes you feel as though you are reading secrets that no one else knows. It contains little flaps and hidden surprises that make you want to look through it again and again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
LOVE this Mermaid book! Bought this for myself, as a decorative item in my newly renovated bathroom, in which I've chosen to use aqua accessories, including a Mermaid clock. ;) The book is nicely done, with very cool illustration, and all kinds of folk lore regarding creatures of the deep. Would recommend as a gift for anyone interested in the mysteries of the sea!
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