The Floating Forest – Linda Chapman, illustrated by Mirelle Ortega

The Floating Forest (Mermaids Rock, Book 2)  – Linda Chapman, illustrated by Mirelle Ortega. Tiger Tales, 2021. 9781680104905

Format: paperback

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

 Genre: fantasy

 What did you like about the book? Young mermaid Coralie, her dolphin pet Dash, and her mer-friends and their pets – members of the Save the Sea Creatures Club – are playing an exploration game near the magical whirlpool of Mermaids Rock.  When Coralie has her turn to go, she finds a kelp forest inhabited by sea otters and sea lions, and she finds a bottle with a treasure map sealed inside.  The club decides they will follow the clues to find the treasure.  First, they have to avoid being followed by mean mer-girl Glenda, and then they have to work their way through a storm-damaged kelp forest before encountering real danger while trying to reunite a baby sea lion with its mother.  Once again the friends discover that the real undersea treasure is their camaraderie and teamwork, and their commitment to helping keep the oceans clean and safe.

Young readers will enjoy this second adventure in the series, as we get to know the characters a little better.  The Floating Forest focuses on the impulsive jokester Coralie, but all of the mer-kids are involved. Factual information about different undersea habitats, the food web, and animal behavior is integrated throughout the narrative so readers will also learn a bit about ocean ecology while cheering for the Save the Sea Creatures Club.  The cute black and white illustrations break up the somewhat lengthy chapters.  The back matter gives further detail about kelp forests and some of the animals encountered in the book, as well as some ‘fin-tastically funny jokes.’

Anything you did not like about the book? The back matter is useful but should be supported by references and resources for further reading.

 To whom would you recommend this book? Middle elementary fantasy fans, especially if they have read other series by Chapman such as Star Friends, will dive right in.  It’s a little lighter than Emily Windsnap but will certainly appeal to those readers who can’t get enough of mermaids.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Fiction

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  no

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, Massachusetts.

Date of review: 7/15/2021

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