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Rani in the Mermaid Lagoon    by Lisa Papademetriou order for
Rani in the Mermaid Lagoon
by Lisa Papademetriou
Order:  USA  Can
RH/Disney, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Rani became a heroine in Pixie Hollow when she sacrificed her wings to save Mother Dove's egg - the keeper of Never Land. Rani became a water-talent fairy. 'Water is her joy' - she can cup a ball of water in her palms and form it into shapes, such as a water-ball to send notes to her friends.

Experiencing an 'identity crisis', Rani is saddened when events make her feel unneeded, and that she no longer belongs in Pixie Hollow. Running away in a birch-bark canoe, Rani is attacked by a hissing water snake, and topples from the canoe, falling unconscious. When she awakens, she sees mermaid rescuers, who live 'where Havendish Stream meets the Mermaid Lagoon'.

The mermaids are excited about Rani's presence in their world, and invite her to live with them. Mermaids Oola and Mara bring her to their palace made out of mother-of-pearl, where all mermaids, mermen, and merchildren live and play. Rani makes a water-bubble necklace - she swallows one of the bubbles when she is in need of a burst of air.

Rani suggests they have a party. When they ask her what a par-tee is, Rani sets out to teach them how to prepare for a celebration, with dance, food, and music. She endangers her life by swimming into the narrow Starfish Gap to find a ring lost by one of the mermaids. She also rescues a seahorse tangled in seaweed and fishing line, and they become fast friends.

But as time passes, Rani is lonesome for the Home Tree, and wonders where does she belong? For a magical adventure, 'Take the second star on your right' to the land of Never fairies, where Mother Dove tends her egg in the Hawthorn Tree. Disney artists add wondrous colors in their illustrations of the magic land and its residents.

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