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The Tail of Emily Windsnap: 04/01/15

cover art

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler is the first of a five book middle grade fantasy series. Emily and her mum live on a boat off the coast of an English town. Though she lives over water, she's only now facing her first swim lesson. And it doesn't go anything like she expected or feared.

In fact, it turns out that Emily Windsnap (the name should be clue enough, but more on that later) is half mermaid. She and her mother's memories have been wiped, including the truth as to what happened to Emily's father. He's not the deadbeat dad everyone has told her.

This first book serves an introduction to the world of the merfolk and their relationship to human (at least English) society. It also gives a chance for Emily to reunite her family and learn the basics of her powers as a mermaid.

But in audio form it's also rather twee. In all fairness there's a long literary tradition in Britain of characters having names that match their character traits or jobs or whatnot. Heck, even British society itself did that (think of the family names Smith, Carpenter, Butcher, etc). In children's entertainment we get twee names like Windsnap or Mousling.

I bring up Angelina "Ballerina" Mousling because the audiobook was recorded by Finty Williams, the voice of Angelina Ballerina from the original animated series that ran from 2001-2007. Having her read Emily Windsnap's adventures makes is damn near impossible to not compare Emily's world and friends to Angelina's.

Four stars

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