Mini Review: Rónán and the Mermaid


Rónán and the MermaidRÓNÁN AND THE MERMAID: A TALE OF OLD IRELAND, by Marianne McShane and Jordi Solano, Candlewick, May 19, 2020, Hardcover, $6.99 (ages 5-8)

The little-know tale of Liban, the Mermaid Saint comes to life in Rónán and the Mermaid: A Tale of Old Ireland, by Marianne McShane and Jordi Solano.

Long ago, on the eastern coast of Ireland, a monk from the Abbey of Bangor was collecting driftwood along the wave-tossed shore when he found a boy washed up amid a circle of seals. At first the boy, wrapped in a shawl of woven seagrass, could barely move or speak. But when he regained his strength, he recalled being brought ashore by a lady with long golden hair who sang him to safety and gave him a silver ring. The monks knew the legend of a mermaid who had wandered the coast for three hundred years. Could it possibly have been her? —Synopsis provided by Candlewick

This fascinating tale is inspired by a medieval story from the year 558. Rónán and the Mermaid is a refreshing mermaid yarn that doesn’t feature a prince or love story. It feels grounded and much less fantastical than you might think.

Marianne McShane is a strong storyteller whose text is a joy to read aloud. And Jordi Solano’s beautiful illustrations capture not only time but place.


© 2020, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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