The Princess Mermaid and the Missing Sea Shells


Children - Mythology/Fairy Tale
36 Pages
Reviewed on 02/08/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Michael discovered his love for storytelling and writing, during a hiatus a thirty year career in architecture and construction industry. His first book, The Princess Mermaid and the Missing Sea Shells. Started when his daughter, Nicole asked how do shells get on the beach. That night he came up with the story. With two children's books published, the second being The Bridge Monster, his third ready to be published, A Long For The Ride. Michael, is currently working on another children's picture book about a flying fish, a crime fiction novel and a book of short scary stories.

Besides writing, Michael has discovered abstract painting. Michael, a transplant from New England to Florida where he and his beautiful wife, three dogs and a cat reside.

To see more of his work, go to his web site. www.michaeldipinto.com

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Princess Mermaid and the Missing Sea Shells is a fairy tale for children written by Michael J. DiPinto and illustrated by Bobbie Marsh. There once was a beautiful mermaid princess who loved to spread seashells over the beaches at night for visitors to find the next day. Her name was Princess Nicole. She was busily adding shells to a beach one foggy summer night when a horde of unruly Portuguese man o’ war jellyfish quietly floated alongside her. They were pirates, and their captain, Captain J. Lee Fish, snatched the bag of shells that she carried and ordered his crew to take her hostage. No one knew what had happened to the princess until seagulls found her empty shell bag on the sandy shore along with a ransom note -- Princess Nicole would only be released upon payment of all the kingdom’s sand dollars. The mermaids instantly sprang into action. They were determined to both get their princess back and keep their sand dollars. Would they be able to thwart the will of Captain J. Lee Fish and free Princess Nicole?

On his dedication page, DiPinto recounts how he would make up stories for his son and daughter, who not only wanted him to read a book at bedtime, but also demanded a story that he made up. Reading The Princess Mermaid and the Missing Sea Shells provides ample evidence of their wisdom in insisting on having their father utilize his storytelling skills. His plot is exciting and filled with twists and turns, and illustrator Bobbie Marsh’s brilliant and colorful artwork offers a mesmerizing look into that other world under the sea. The minute I saw the grumpy and mean looks on the faces of those man o’ war pirates, I knew I was in for a treat, but each page seemed to offer even more than its predecessor.

And while it is a fairy tale, the story is a marvelous introduction to marine biology for both children and the caregivers reading the story. The beach scenes had me wistfully wishing I were there on the beach, and the underwater scenes are brimming with all manner of fishes, sharks, whales and lush coral reefs. Each picture is worth framing and hanging on a child’s wall. I also loved the fact that the illustrations allowed me to consider what was going to happen on the next page -- this interactive feature will have kids getting even more involved in this compelling tale. The Princess Mermaid and the Missing Sea Shells is a maritime adventure everyone will get excited about -- it’s most highly recommended.

Justine Reyes

Michael DiPinto’s The Princess and the Missing Sea Shells is a wonderful children’s book. The story follows a mermaid named Princess Nicole. At the beginning of the tale, she is kidnapped by the Coral Eaters who are the most feared gang of pirates under the sea. Their captain is a ruthless jellyfish named J. Lee Fish. Captain J. Lee Fish demands the mermaid kingdom to surrender all their sand dollars to him in exchange for Princess Nicole. However, the mermaids don’t intend to pay the captain, though they fully intend on rescuing their princess. Soon enough, the mermaid kingdom and their sea creature friends go forth on an adventure to find and rescue their princess.

I read DiPinto’s book to my daughter only expecting something short and simple, but it quickly became clear that The Princess and the Missing Sea Shells was not your traditional magical seaside tale. DiPinto gives his readers a silly and elaborate rescue story that doesn't disappoint. There are many laughs to be had in this charming book, most notably Captain J. Lee Fish's name. In addition to DiPinto's colorful underwater tale, readers will be quick to notice the art. Bobbie Marsh did an extraordinary job at making the characters pop off the pages. On top of that, it was very touching to read DiPinto’s dedication. It firmly establishes the fact that The Princess and the Missing Sea Shells was truly meant to be a story told to children and is one that children will want to read.

Liz Konkel

The Princess Mermaid and the Missing Seashells by Michael J. DiPinto and with illustrations by Bobbie Marsh is a delightful read for the whole family. A lovely day spent spreading seashells on the beach turns sour when a mermaid princess is taken captive by pirates. Princess Nicole and her friends are in the midst of leaving seashells when the dreadful Coral Eaters, pirates led by the dastardly Captain J. Lee Fish, come out of the sea and quickly take the young princess, along with her bag of shells, and ransom her in an attempt to get sand dollars. All of Princess Nicole's friends gather in the sea and band together with the mermaids in a daring plan to rescue the beloved princess.

Michael J. DiPinto weaves a delightful bedtime story perfect to share as a family. The story comes with action and adventure as all the fish and little mermaids go across the water to save their princess. The mermaids show their bravery in their actions to go up against pirates while Princess Nicole never wavers in her courage when she's held captive. The story reads with a similar tone to that of a fairy tale with enjoyable fish themes used in creative ways. The writing is kept at a young level with witty humor, including the adorable names Captain Fish, the Coral Eaters, and the pirate ship called the Algae Eater. One delightful scene even has octopi playing Go Fish, which is a clear example of how lighthearted the story is despite the evil pirates.

DiPinto's lovely story is paired with whimsical illustrations which are detailed images using soft colors and vivid scenic backgrounds. Other than the mermaids, all the characters are entirely fish with seashells and jellyfish having faces, adding humor to the story with every new scene depicted. The jellyfish have added details to make them look like little pirates such as the crew wearing bandannas with one even having an eye patch and the captain wearing a tattered looking captain's hat. One of the cutest illustrations is a pair of trumpet fish literally playing their nose trumpets to spread the news of Nicole's kidnapping. The illustrations are clever, perfectly capturing the characters and bringing to life this world DiPinto has created. The Princess Mermaid and the Missing Seashells is a sweet family read with charming characters, stunning illustrations, and an underwater adventure with an unforgettable lesson on bravery, loyalty, and strength.