The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

Tail of Emily Windsnap
The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

In this story Emily lives in a boat called the King of the Sea with her mom. She has never been in water before year seven in her school and when she first gets in the water her legs stick together like a tail. She gets scared and doesn’t want to swim again. Eventually she sneaks out at night and discovers that she is a semi-mer. Now she feels like she could swim forever and ever in the endless sea. She meets another mermaid and they become friends. Emily finds out that her dad is a mer-man in a prison really far away and Emily has to get there.

In the end Emily does find her dad, but I’m not going to tell you how. You will just have to read the book to find out! I love this story so much I Elephant by Rebecca Benderalmost have the book memorized word for word.

Reviewed by Erin

(review copy from the library).


I must confess, I’ve yet to read this book. I can, however, tell you that for the last few years the CD version has spent far more time here in our home than it has on the shelf of the library that supposedly owns it, and that on many occasions during that time I have gone into the room where it was playing to accomplish some task or other and found myself swept up in the story instead. (The narrator, Finty Williams, does an excellent job of transfusing the story with dramatic energy.) I can also tell you that Erin knows big chunks of it by heart and sometimes she and her sister have great fun quoting lines of dialogue back and forth. And probably none of this would have happened if I had taken the time to read the story description on the back of the CD case.

Rightly or wrongly I have come to have terribly low expectations of any book that features fairies, princesses, mermaids or glitter on the cover. It feels to me like such books tend to be high on glitz and low on substance. So The Tail of Emily Windsnap only came home with us that first time because the image on the CD case did not show a mermaid but a little girl in a sunhat standing on a beach. As I recall, I added it to our basket thinking it was going to be similar to “The Littles” (which we’d just been reading) only with a full size girl.

Thank goodness for my “mistake,” or we would have missed out on hours and hours and hours of enjoyment. And we would have missed out on a tale that is far richer and more nuanced than I ever would have dared imagine given the premise.

Turtle by Rebecca BenderReviewed by Susan Jean



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