Elevate Difference

A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids

Margot Datz’s A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids is a wonderfully colorful picture book for adults - the kind of book that should come with matching postcards, a calendar, and refrigerator magnets. Datz is both writer and illustrator, and she does a delightful job with both.

The focus of the book is how women can experience life to the fullest by living like mermaids. Mermaids, Datz tell us, came out from the sea long ago, and even though they have adapted to life on land, part of them still longs for the freedom of the sea. If you have ever felt like there was a wild, sensual creature inside of you longing to get out (and who among us hasn’t?), then you’re probably a landlocked mermaid. This book will help you to regain the tail that you lost so long ago.

Each page of the book has a little life tip accompanied by a whimsical picture of a mermaid acting it out. These pictures alone make the book worth it. Datz is a talented artist and her mermaids come alive on the page with a certain coy charm, appearing both ethereal and familiar at the same time. They are also racially diverse, which is encouraging since that is not the norm in these types of books.

The life lessons are about a variety of subjects, ranging from listening to your elders to being smart with money. The main lesson is to be true to yourself in all things - including the way you express your emotions, choose a life partner, or simply accessorize an outfit. All of these things, Datz stresses, are important in releasing your inner mermaid.

Nothing Datz presents in the book is new information, but she presents it in such a fun and entertaining way that you can’t help but be drawn into her mermaid world of love, life, and laughter.

Written by: Victoria Kroeger, June 12th 2008