________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 8. . . October 27, 2017


Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things: Children’s Poetry and Verse from Atlantic Canada.

Sheree Fitch & Anne Hunt, Eds.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2017.
170 pp., hardcover, $29.95.
ISBN 978-1-77108-471-0.

Subject Headings:
Children’s poetry, Canadian (English)-Atlantic Provinces.
Children’s poetry, Canadian (English)-21st century.

Kindergarten and up / Ages 5 and up.

Review by Inderjit Deogun.

**** /4


Named after Sir Charles G. D. Roberts poem “Sleepy Man,” Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things is a curated collection of children’s poetry and verse from Atlantic Canada weaved together by the brilliant minds of Sheree Fitch and Anne Hunt. This collection, which holds the likes of Milton Acorn, George Elliott Clarke and L. M. Montgomery, boasts over 100 poems, each offering something magical.

You see

I learned to read—


Now I understand

Now I know it’s possible

To hold

the moon

in my hands.

     Spanning the period of poetry appearing between 1841-2009, Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things is divided into six equally whimsical chapters. Readers will delight in the limericks, lullabies, meditations, rhymes and songs that illustrate both the real and the imagined, all the while showcasing the richness of Atlantic Canada’s cultures and surroundings.

Some homes are where flowers forever blow,

The sun shining hotly the whole year round;

But our Home glistens with six months of snow,

Where frost without wind heightens every sound,

And Home is Home wherever it is,

When we are together and nothing amiss.

     Here is an anthology that sets itself apart because it invites readers into a world that’s not their own, and yet it could be. The familiarity of the sounds, landscapes and experiences in this impeccably researched collection cannot be dismissed. Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things teaches readers that the Canadian story goes far beyond their street, their neighbourhood and their province because, like the poem below, it is one that remains "Unfinished".

Think of what you want to say and say it.

Pick up what you want to play and play it.

Imagine how you want to live and live it.

Find out what you have to give and give it.

Think of what you want to see and see it.

Dream of what you want to be and

Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things is an expertly curated poetry compendium for young readers that will be a cherished addition to every child's library.

Highly Recommended.

Inderjit Deogun is a communications professional in Toronto, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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