Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Never Land Book: Escape from the Carnivale

A Never Land Book: Escape from the Carnivale

Ridley Pearson , Dave Barry
Illustrator:  Greg Call 
Fiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Hyperion, 2006   ISBN: 978-0786837892

Scallop is the daughter of Fighting Prawn, the chief of the Mollusk tribe, and she is therefore a princess. Unfortunately she is not at all happy with her life. Her brothers are always the ones who help the tribe, who fight with Captain Hook’s pirates, and who discuss matters over with their father. In short Scallop is fed up with being left out of things.

One day, after once again being told to “run along” Scallop goes off to play with her two best friends, Aqua and Surf, the twin mermaid girls. All three girls decide that they will go out to Shark Cave which is out on a reef beyond the mouth of the lagoon. There are pearls there and all three girls would love to have a pearl necklace. The girls disregard the fact that the grownups in their lives have told them that they must not leave the lagoon.

So off they swim out of the safety of the lagoon. What they do not know is that not far from the reef a ship lies at anchor. On board this ship there is a man called Captain Crookshank, who travels the world looking for living curiosities like three legged dogs, fat ladies, and oversized seahorses. He is looking for a new addition for his collection and is delighted when he catches something very unique in his nets, a mermaid. It is poor Surf who is caught and her sister and friend are desperate to find a way to rescue her before the ship sails away. How is it to be done though?

Packed with pirates, mermaids, evil mermaid kidnappers, Lost Boys, and others, this is a story which will delight young readers who have a taste for fantastical adventures. The authors, who created quite a stir with their book “Peter and the Starcatchers,” wrote this book for their younger readers who might not be quite ready to read the Peter Pan books by themselves.

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