In the underwater kingdom of Atargatis on a wet (what else would it be?) day in June 2022, the five mermaids gathered for their annual reunion.
Zari was the first to arrive and she brought some cupcakes made from seaweed and decorated with small pieces of coral. She laid them out and tried to guess the time. Was she early? Were the others late?
"We must get ourselves watches, so we know the time," she said out loud.
Shortly afterward, the other four mermaids swam in and each had brought a treat. Although they usually met each day, an annual reunion was something special.
Emily started the conversation, "Well, who would have thought it was just three years ago when we became characters in the Five Enchanted Mermaids stories.
"Yes, three years ago we started as just images on a set of party supplies. We didn't even have names then." Sofia munched into a seaweed cookie.
Anna nodded, "That first year we saw a lot of mermaid parties with hundreds of little girls who looked just like us, and also boys, having fun and playing with each other. They had pool parties in the summer and indoor parties at other times of year."
Anna added a somber note, "But then COVID arrived, and we had to change. No more face-to-face parties. The little ones and their parents had to make do with online parties – they were fun but it was so much better when we recently got back together in person again."
"In that first year, a few months after the party supplies came out, we were given our names, Zari, Emily, Sofia, Anna, and Jenny, and each of us adopted a superpower. The superpowers we chose were the most important things that a little one growing up needs to understand when they are 3-7-year-olds." Jenny blew a few bubbles into the water.
Zari swished her tail causing Jenny's bubbles to fly all over the nearby rocks. "Then the books started being published. The first series of books were really fun. Otto's big role in You Can Do It, and next there was Happy Birthday, Miss Molly – remember the different celebrations for birthdays around the world?"
"And then there was the back-to-school book with my best friend Sally, the whale shark," Emily said.
"While the books were being written, some really cute products rolled out – backpacks, a blanket. Everywhere a little girl goes with her backpack, there we are on her back! In the early, COVID days, our images hung out at home and later in day-care centers and schools. Lately, we have been in more airports than you could imagine."
Zari poured some kelp tea into glasses for each mermaid, "In the last year or so, each of us had our own book, focusing on our superpowers – independence, honesty, courage, confidence, and kindness."
"And the first three were turned into hardcover books with a matching doll which looks just like us! What a great last two years. It makes me so happy that kids love us as well as learn from us"
"Don't forget the party swirls. They were a blast! And they have only been around for a year. Teachers love those too and we are probably by now hanging in a lot of different classrooms. How cool is that? "
"So here we are, three years in and facing a very troubled world. Together though, we'll face it and succeed. We are five sisters from across the world and we are helping parents, caregivers, teachers and grandparents prepare young ones for the future challenges the world will no doubt face."
"Let's toast the parents, caregivers, teachers and grandparents for the great job they're doing." All the mermaids raised their glasses.
The Five Enchanted Mermaids celebrate diversity in our world and the belief that each child deserves to have a mermaid that looks like them. Through their individual personalities and traits, they weave stories that help teach skills for children in this age group.
The idea for the Five Enchanted Mermaids was born to provide a fun but educational backdrop for girls aged 3 to 7 years. The characters address emotional skills (making friends, resolving conflicts, coping with change, making their own choices and “being good people”) and educational skills (learning to read, the alphabet, counting, symmetrical shapes, time, value of monetary coins/notes) that are important at that age in the development of young girls.
The stories use each of the diverse mermaids as a role model for behavior and values.
LifeMadeSimple, LLC and acclaimed children’s book author, Lois Petren, are collaborating to provide a series of books, party accessories and other appropriate items as mermaid gifts for girls to support these goals.
Visit us at www.fiveenchantedmermaids.com