Kids’ Book Helps Overcome Swimming Fears


Photo: Courtesy‘Mermaid Dreams’

Mermaid Dreams, a new children’s book written by Santa Barbara author and therapist Janet Lucy, was inspired by a young local girl who loves to swim and fantasizes about being a mermaid but has nightmares about big waves. “These concepts are universal,” said Lucy, “dreams and fears of children and adults alike.”

The book, illustrated by Colleen McCarthy-Evans, follows main character Maya’s magical undersea journey with the African ocean goddess Yemaya, who helps Maya overcome her fear of swimming in the sea. “Mythology and storytelling are age-old methods of passing along wisdom, sharing experience, and teaching about life,” said Lucy, who also coauthored Moon Mother, Moon Daughter: Myths and Rituals that Celebrate a Girl’s Coming of Age. “Yemaya represents a wise and protective divine mother as well as one of the strands of the heritage of the little girl who inspired the story.”

Mermaid Dreams is printed by Seven Seas Press, a Santa Barbara nonprofit publisher of children’s books. “The books we create address children’s hopes and dreams and teach them how to confront the challenges of our society and the world they will inherit,” said Executive Director Erika Romer. “The stories aim to increase cultural awareness and encourage diversity and inclusivity within our community.” 

This month, Romer said, Seven Seas Press will be launching an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to donate Mermaid Dreams to Girls Inc. in Santa Barbara. “Through generous donations and other funding, we make our books available to children in our Santa Barbara community and beyond who might otherwise not be able to afford them,” said Romer. Each book also comes in a Spanish-English bilingual version. All Seven Seas books are available for purchase locally at Paradise Found and Chaucer’s, or on Amazon.

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