Cover image for Princess Fishtail
Princess Fishtail
Minters, Frances.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
After rescuing a handsome surfer, the Mer-King's daughter decides to trade her tail to a frightening troll in exchange for legs, but after a month on land she seeks a way to visit her home.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.7 0.5 63619.
Added Author:
Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Princess Fishtail really digs her life beneath the water-living in a crystal palace, jumping rope with dolphins, and chatting with tuna on her cell phone. But one day when she rescues a handsome surfer, the mer-princess realizes she's been hooked-by love. The princess decides to spend the rest of her life on land with her true love, but one day she gets homesick for her old pals under the sea. Will a rotten old troll stand in true love's way, or can a mermaid princess, a surfer, and some sewing lessons show the way to living happily ever after? "This ultracool version of the fairy tale ...updates the classic with singular flair." (Publishers Weeklyon Cinder-Elly)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 2. The team who created Cinder-Elly (1994) and Sleepless Beauty (1996) collaborate again to give a fresh, new face to the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale of a mermaid princess who falls in love with a human. In this hip L.A. version, the princess rescues a surfer named Burt when he accidentally falls into the ocean, then bargains with a nasty sea troll to trade her fish tail for legs. Now completely human, the princess and her surfer take in the Hollywood scene and go shopping: "This will not come as news--/ Highness really needed / Lots of brand-new shoes." The rhyming verse is witty, funny, and contagious, begging to be read aloud, and Karas' highly entertaining pictures are loaded with clever details that will amuse and delight. Older kids will get a kick out of references to such modern-day trappings as cell phones, fax machines, and e-mail. A raplike recitation of the verses will be great for a fun-filled choral reading. Lauren Peterson

Publisher's Weekly Review

The creators of Cinder-Elly and Sleepless Beauty here perkily up-end "The Little Mermaid": "On top she was a human,/ In fact, was kind of dishy./ Underneath it all, though,/ You might find something fishy." While swimming, the Mer-Princess, aka Highness, spies a surfer and immediately falls in love. Distracted by her song, Burt falls off his board and she pulls him to shore. When Highness bemoans her inability to stay on dry land because of her fishtail, a sly troll appears and offers to trade her the tail for two feet. She and Burt have a grand time together until the princess becomes homesick and the troll refuses to return her tail. But clever Burt comes up with a solution. Quips and comments from fish ("Highness, maybe you should go to a plastic sturgeon," they warn when the troll makes his offer), seagulls and clams supplement the sometimes strained rhy-ming verse. Painted on a grainy, woodlike ground, Karas's mixed-media pictures take Los Angeles as backdrop; a scene of the Hollywood hills is especially festive. Light colors and bubbly patterns create a confetti-like effect, well suited to the frothiness of this frolicsome retelling. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-This wacky story told in verse features a modern mermaid/princess: "On top she was a human,/In fact, was kind of dishy./Underneath it all, though,/You might find something fishy." While swimming one day, she spies Burt, a handsome surfer. When he wipes out on his board and falls into the drink, Highness rescues him and they immediately fall in love. She enlists the help of a shady, underworld Troll to trade her fishtail for two legs and feet. Although she has fun shopping for shoes and seeing the sights of Hollywood, she is homesick. The troll refuses to help: "`No refunds here,' said he." Then the forward-thinking princess realizes that others swim without a tail. Burt provides her with a scuba suit and swimming lessons, and she is no longer "a fish without my water." Minters's satiric, playful verse is best appreciated when read aloud. Karas's bright illustrations, in watercolor and cutouts, provide a humorous backdrop filled with beaches, fish-taco vendors, and animals that poke fun at fairy-tale conventions: after Burt and Highness fall in love at first sight, a seagull quips: "Wow! That was fast." A funny, tongue-in-cheek tale.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.