BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: The Mermaid’s Purse by Patricia Polacco

TITLE: The Mermaid’s Purse


PUBLISHER:  G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2016


Young Stella loves books so much, her books begin to take over the farmhouse. “Why, Stell, you need your own library to hold those books,” her pa tells her, so he and the neighbors build her one! She calls it “the Mermaid’s Purse,” since the midwife said Stella was born in one. Stella opens the Purse to her neighbors and travels around the countryside, sharing her books door-to-door. Not everyone gives them a chance at first, like grouchy Pig Ears Lonsberry. But farmer Dunkle sure changes his mind when information in a book saves his sick sheep. Eventually, everybody comes to love the Mermaid’s Purse—so when a tornado destroys it, scattering Stella’s precious books far and wide, the whole community rallies to help.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : There are so many things I liked about this book, I’m not quite sure where to begin. New York Times bestselling author, Patricia Polacco, takes her readers on a journey of discovery into the life of her grandmother, Estella Barber. From the moment she was born to her great love of reading to her massive book collection that was housed in a library her father built for her. I loved how she traveled all around the countryside with a goat cart full of books to share with her neighbors. I love how Estella persevered the ridicule of people who either didn’t have time for books or didn’t believe they could learn anything new from them. And when disaster destroyed the Mermaid’s Purse and all the books, Estella witnessed a community coming together to restore her faith in the power of books! A great addition to any library!

RATING: *****5 Stars*****


1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like but some elements could have been stronger.

3 stars…this story w5ill appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

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P O Box 27788

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Donna L

Hybrid award winning author; aspiring sketch artist; and 4th Degree Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor. Host of BOOK NOOK REVIEWS. Member of SCBWI. Mom to fabulous son and adventurer delving into the tricky world of indie-publishing.

2 thoughts on “BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: The Mermaid’s Purse by Patricia Polacco

  • January 23, 2023 at 1:18 pm

    Love this review!

    • January 23, 2023 at 5:41 pm

      Awww, thank you, Debbie! I try to share my love of books with as many people as I can…;-)

      Thanks for stopping by and come back any time!


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