The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid

Janet Balletta
WRB Publishing (2013)
ISBN 9780985676292
Reviewed by Madeline McElroy (age 12.5) for Reader Views Kids (4/14)
Ah, mermaids. You can guarantee almost every girl loves them, and probably believes in them, too. “The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid” by Janet Balletta takes place in a town called Valledupar, where a girl named Judith lives with her brother Tomas, and family. In this town they live in, there's a legend that goes way back in time; the legend of the Colombian mermaid La Sirena.
The legend that runs is that one Good Friday many years ago a town girl disobeyed the rules and went into river, causing her to change into a mermaid. It is said that if La Sirena catches other children in the river at the wrong time, she steals them and turns them into mermaids as well.

The day before Good Friday, Judith, Tomas, and some friends go out to play in the river and have fun. While the river is great and all, the children have limits and need to be back before dark. As Judith is getting ready to go she realizes her brother is nowhere to be found. She asks around from the other friends, and they hadn't seen him for a few hours. She starts to panic, knowing that her mother put her in charge to get everyone back safely. Judith shouts about, trying to avoid getting in the river from fear. She soon succumbs and goes into the river, wading further and further as she tries to find her brother. Every try was another failure. She felt ultimate terror powering over her as she thought that La Sirena could have gotten him. What will happen? Will Tomas turn into a mermaid? Will they both come back safely? Maybe even them both become mermaids? Find out as you read this wicked novel!

I would say I enjoyed this book. Everything is set up very nicely for the specified age group and makes it very easy to understand. The illustrations are also very appreciated by me since I do adore that type of drawing style. Any young child would thoroughly enjoy this as well as it is a well thought out and put together book, however I feel the age range for “The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid” by Janet Balletta would be best suited for ages 6-10. I am quite mature for my age, and have read lots of different books. Any six to ten year old would thoroughly enjoy this book.

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