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The Mermaid Who Couldn't


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A therapeutic picture book for children aged 4 to 9 about a mermaid who discovers her sense of self-worth

About the Author

Ali Redford is an adoptive parent of siblings who has worked in education, theatre and marketing. She has been through a lot of family therapy and, on a good day, seems to be coming out the other side, touch wood. Kara Simpson is a freelance illustrator and mother of two. They both live in the South of England.


The little mermaid's journey is captivating as she moves from feeling lost and lonely to finding friends and discovering her voice. This is such an important message, beautifully told, for children who lack self worth and feel that they have nothing about them worthy of love. The Mermaid Who Couldn't' is a moving story of hope! -- Jay Vaughan, Family Futures Clinical Director

The story is both powerful, painful yet beautiful to read. The characters, illustrations and the poetic style of the text draws the reader in and maintains their interest throughout. The author captures and illustrates sensitively, painful feelings which could facilitate helpful discussion.
Whilst the Mermaid's journey is painful and arduous, the story offers hope and resolution. What is particularly refreshing is there is no fairy tale ending, instead it instils hope that repair and recovery can happen within relationships over time.
This book will appeal to therapists working with children, Foster Carers, Adopters and others in the Social Care field - I am thrilled to be adding it to my playroom book shelf!

-- Nina Ridsdale * British Association of Play Therapy *
The Mermaid Who Couldn't is a powerful and beautifully illustrated story for children and adults alike, reminding us that even in the depths of self-doubt and despair, the capacity for change can come from something as simple as an act of kindness and a helping hand. -- Rita Soronen, President & CEO, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
Themes of belonging, perseverance and hope, gently lap over this rich and poetic tale. A beautiful gem of a book that will delight and encourage all little mermaids learning to sing a different song and those helping them to learn. I heartily recommend it. -- Sally Donovan OBE, author of No Matter What and The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting

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