Little Mermaid: Ten minutes to bed by Rhiannon Fielding and Chris Chatterton
Ladybird Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780241372678.
(Age: 3-6) Ten minutes to bed is a beautiful series by Rhiannon Fielding and Chris Chatterton, aimed at young children at bedtime. Each book follows a similar progression where the parent/family member counts down the minutes to bedtime while the main character flits around doing lots of fun things before bed. The books are all based on mythical type characters and are whimsical in nature.
Each book has a map at the beginning (daytime) and end (night-time) of the book showing 'The land of Nod' which young children can engage with, finding the home of the book's character and also the homes of the other two in the series (Little Unicorn and Little Monster).
Splash the little mermaid lives in Golden Cove, deep down below the waves. She is surrounded by merpeople and lots of merchildren. She feels small compared to others and in order to feel bigger and braver she decides to go on a bedtime adventure under a big wave and into the ocean. She meets lots of very cute sea creatures, but also a big shark! Luckily, she finds a friendly whale to help her get back home to the castle and into bed.
The illustrations are bright and colourful, with swishes of rainbow fishes and pretty pink and purple palaces. The cover has some pretty pops of tactile sparkles, giving off shimmery colours in the light. The characters all have facial expressions, giving extra meaning to the story.
On top of the count down from 10 to bed, children can name the sea creatures they see and create little side stories on each page. As with the other stories in the series, we loved this one. The rhyming nature of the story mixed with very cute illustrations makes it a book that will stay by the bedside for quite some time!