The Talent Show by Delphine Davis
Mermaid Holidays bk. 1. Illus. by Adele K. Thomas. Puffin
Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780143796510.
(Age: 6-8) Recommended. Themes: Friendship; Mermaids. This is an easy-to-read Friendship tale involving friends who catch up every school holiday break . . . and mermaids! Each of the four mer-friends has a companion side-kick - a marine creature that often speaks the words of wisdom that they need to hear. In this tale, the mer-girls get together to plan their mer-formance (performance) in the upcoming talent show. Sophia's bossiness gets in the way of a polished performance, creating waves amongst the friends. Will the friendship recover from the debacle? Only the voice of reason from Sophia's side-kick, Smedley, can restore what has been wrecked.
This is a book for readers of easy chapter fiction for girls, not dissimilar to many others written for this age group, but with mermaids as characters. Illustrations are simple comic style which reveals story and character details with hints of humour. There is no great complexity to the plot and young girls will recognise the playground and friendship dilemmas and solutions. There are other books to follow in the series, so this is one to recommend to the young reader discovering chapter books and reading independence. Especially if they love mermaids!