The watercolour illustrations by John Shelley are the best part of this book. The story is odd (why does the mermaid get larger, and then why does she shrink when she to get back in the bottle?), and too British for my 3-year-old ("basin" instead of sink, "tea" instead of lunch, "gala" in stead of race), and I'm not sure why everyone is either ignoring or yelling at the protagonist, Bobby Bell, when he doesn't do anything wrong. At the end, the mermaid disappears, which upset my 3-year-old, who cares much more about the mermaid than she does about the kid. But she changed the ending so that the mermaid goes back into the bottle and home with Bobby, so she's happy now.