Mermaid School: The Clamshell Show

Mermaid School: The Clamshell Show
Lucy Courtenay, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey
Andersen Press

We’re back at Lady Sealia Foam’s Mermaid School where Marnie Blue is now well settled in and has two special friends Pearl and Orla (her enemy when Marnie started school).

Marnie is eagerly anticipating the forthcoming Clamshell Show particularly as it was there that her famous singer aunt, Christabel got her big break.

Now both Marnie and Orla are going to audition for the leading role of Queen Maretta.

Enter new pupil Gilly, she of the amazing voice. She too has set her sights on the star part and is prepared to resort to some tricky tactics to get what she wants. She also speaks fluent octopus and has a brother at a nearby educational establishment.

When Gilly learns that Christabel Blue is Marnie’s aunt things really start to hot up, so much so that it seems as though the long awaited Clamshell Show might not even take place at all.

Then who is the mysterious Arthur that Christabel is writing to when Marnie visits her recording studio?

There are plenty of twists and turns to keep young readers immersed in the undersea world of Mermaid Lagoon to the very last page of this second exciting adventure. Added to the fun are Sheena Dempsey’s drawings that bubble up on every spread.

Mermaid School

Mermaid School
Lucy Courtenay, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey
Anderson Press

The first of a new Lucy Courtenay series sees young mermaid Marnie Blue determined to make a good impression on her very first day at Mermaid School.

She has the usual first day nerves about making friends, and is concerned at the prospect of perhaps having to ride a seahorse but she has something additional to be worried about.

Her aunt, the famous singer and DJ, Christabel Blue, is an ex pupil and her reputation as a student at the same educational establishment leaves a lot to be desired. Indeed she is on record as having been the naughtiest mermaid the school has ever had on role. In contrast Marnie’s mother was a model student.

Marnie really wants to impress both staff and fellow pupils but will her teachers give her a fair chance or have they already decided what kind of newbie they’re dealing with in the latest Blue family enrollee to Lady Sealia Foam’s Mermaid School?

Her first day is definitely not a success except that Marnie makes friends with Pearl Cockle. Surely the mayhem-causing snake in her school bag couldn’t possibly have been put there by her aunt, could it? If not then who was responsible?

What about Orla, who from the outset seems determined to be unkind to her and causes her to get into trouble? Something decidedly fishy appears to be going on.

Then Orla goes missing; who will come to her aid?

There’s SO much more to discover about life at Mermaid School and Marnie’s family in this story that bubbles with excitement; all the more so thanks to Sheena Dempsey’s illustrations.

I know one 7-year-old reader who is already eagerly anticipating Book 2, The Clamshell Show, coming in May.

Emmanuelle engrossed in the story

Some of Emmanuelle’s comments on this book:
“It was VERY, VERY, VERY good and very funny, especially Marnie’s aunt, Christabelle Blue. I really like that she said the Mermaid school was ‘terrible’ and also her love aspect with a human.”

She was also inspired to draw this picture of Marnie’s aunt.