Gertie The Mermaid
‘Southwick based author Amanda Severn and Shoreham based illustrator Emilia Cornwell completed their children’s book, ‘Gertie the Mermaid’s Birthday Adventure’ during last year’s lockdown. Although Amanda has written on-line blogs, articles and poetry for many years, this is her first published book. It is also a debut publication for Emilia who is only twenty and just beginning her career in illustration. Amanda and Emilia were once next door neighbours, and Amanda occasionally looked after Emilia when she was a baby.
Their main character, Gertie the Mermaid, lives in a sea cave with her Mumma somewhere near the Rampion Wind Farm. Gertie’s Mumma knows all too well the perils of getting too close to land-folk and she often tells her daughter to stay away from the shore, especially in daylight when she can be seen. Gertie, however, has different ideas and just can’t resist exploring along the coast line from Brighton and eventually swimming up the River Adur at Shoreham. Gertie is eventually spotted and has to escape back up the river and into the open sea, but even there danger awaits.
Told in rhyming couplets the story is a charming tale which will entertain both adults and children alike. Emilia’s illustrations are full of humour and there are plenty of easily identifiable local landmarks within the drawings, as well as some quirky details such as seagulls with hats, and purple octopus tentacles winding their way around underwater objects.