Tuesday 18 January 2022

MerTales: The Great Treasure Hunt

MerTales: The Great Treasure Hunt by Rebecca Timms (Albert Street Books) PB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9781760526573

Reviewed by Kathleen Grace

This is the third book in the MerTales series, which is junior fiction for children aged 6 to 9 years, with a diverse cast of characters based on the author’s own best friends. Timms says of this book, ‘It’s been incredibly fun to write something pink and sparkly that’s also bursting with girl-power – there are definitely no damsels in distress in these books!’

In this latest book, it’s the day of the Great Cockleshell Cove Treasure Hunt and everyone is joining in. Coral Clearwater is excited to lead her team of best friends Pearl, Sandy, and Shell to the treasure before the others. Each of the mermaids has superpowers. Coral can control water currents, Pearl can talk to animals, Sandy can create forcefields, and Shell can transport from one place to another.

Count Frumplesquid the Third has donated all the treasures for the hunt and clue, in the form of riddles are contained on a scroll. The mermaid’s first clue takes them to the Mer-Seum where they meet Rocky’s Rock Stars, a merman group comprised of Rocky Ravine, Nate Nautilus, and Brian Barnacle. It is about this time that Coral and the others discover there is a bigger mystery to be solved other than simply finding the treasure. The question now is can Coral and her crew work together to uncover the truth and keep the precious treasure safe? And what about Rocky and his mer-men. And Count Frumplesquid: how are they involved?

This adventure story of friendship is fun and vibrant. Every page is illustrated in black, red, and pink with words frequently highlighted in different sizes and colours. There is a continual play on sea words (such as ‘re-mer-kable’, ‘flippity fishtails’, and ‘clam-tastic.’)

The book will particularly appeal to girl readers.

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