S in a Mermaid World
This happened oncet upon a time,
on a little island off the coast
of South Carolina.
So begins the story of Sukey and the Mermaid, retold by Robert D. San Souci and illustrated by Brian Pinkney.
Sukey was a young girl whose lazy new stepfather forced her to do all the work. Fed up, she ran off to her secret hideaway on the beach. When she sang a song, a beautiful, brown-skinned, black-eyed mermaid named Mama Jo rose up out of the water. This folktale has a Cinderella feel to it with Mama Jo being the mermaid godmother to Sukey.
This story is one of the few which tells of an African American mermaid whose origin most likely was from West Africa. The illustrations perfectly convey the magic of Mama Jo and her relationship with Sukey.
S is also for Starbucks. Why does Starbucks have a mermaid logo for its coffee?
According to the Starbuck’s website, writer Steve M. explains:
“Let’s go all the way back to 1971, to when Starbucks was first coming to be. In a search for a way to capture the seafaring history of coffee and Seattle’s strong seaport roots, there was a lot of poring over old marine books going on. Suddenly, there she was: a 16th century Norse woodcut of a twin-tailed mermaid, or Siren. There was something about her – a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme that was exactly what the founders were looking for. A logo was designed around her, and our long relationship with the Siren began.”
But, that’s not the only explanation out there. Here’s a link to an article from Mental Floss Magazine that spills the beans on Starbucks.
Finally, wouldn’t you love to receive a letter with one of these stamps?