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The Secret Lives of Mermaids - Prof Anuk Tola & Anja Susanj

Reading more like a non-fiction guidebook than a collection of fantastic descriptions of magical mer-men and maids, this beautiful guide to the undersea community of mermaids and their kinfolk is enchanting and wonderful.

Beautifully illustrated, with bright bold drawings throughout, it tells of the history, details and characters of the merfolk kingdom, from the perspective of 'famed merologist' Professor Anuk Tola, who is the guide, and who provides a foreword and author's note in the form of a letter to the reader to introduce herself and the book, further adding to the scientific/encyclopedic feel of this collection of information.

Mixing description with facts about the geography, language, civilisation and art of this fairy-tale world, the book is completely captivating, as there is so much to read and discover, and I particularly liked the ecological message carried by the 'Ocean Defenders' chapter at the close of the book.

The bright blue and glittering gold cover, and the end papers with a mermaid welcoming and bidding farewell at the start and end of our reading are enticing and draw the reader nicely into the undersea world of these mysterious creatures of lore...

A lovely addition to the bookshelves, and a great cross-over text for those ready to step from stories to information texts who might need a more accessible or gentle introduction rather than a leap straight into a more formal/scientific style of book.

Many thanks to Flying Eye books and Bounce for the review copy of the book: find out more or order at:

Review by Rich Simpson (@richreadalot) October 2020

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