Monday, November 24, 2014

Imaginative New Children’s Book Debuts, Teaching Strong Message of Family Values, Faith, Inspiration, and Obedience

Written by Janet Balletta, The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid is a creative and magical new children’s book that explores a little-known myth in the Colombian culture. As a child, Balletta was told the tale of the mermaid, and she never forgot it. Now, she brings the story back to life for the next generation of young readers.

The legend begins in Valledupar, Colombia, when a little girl went swimming against her parent’s wishes, and as a consequence, was turned into a mermaid. 

It continues in a vibrant new book by Janet Balletta, entitled ‘The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid’. Telling the tale of a young brother and sister named Tomas and Judith who live in Valledupar, the story details their encounter with the menacing mermaid, and Judith’s quest to save her brother from the clutches of ‘La Sirena’.  This book with its colorful cast of characters and enchanting illustrations by Estella Mejía, will captivate children and parents alike.

The legend of the Colombian Mermaid was my favorite bedtime story and I never got tired of hearing my mother tell it,” says Balletta.  “Of course, what I now realize is that not only is the tale entertaining, but it also teaches a good lesson on family values, faith, inspiration, obedience, and ultimately how the treasure of family is more important than the treasure of gold.” 


The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid is based on the legend of La Sirena De Hurtado, in Valledupar, Colombia. It dates back to 1917 and tells the story of a young girl who defied her parents and went swimming in the river on Good Friday. According to the legend the girl turned into a mermaid because she was cursed for her disobedience and non-observance of Good Friday a traditional Catholic holiday.  

With years of experience in working with children, Balletta is committed to education and to helping kids understand and navigate other cultures. “As an educator, I am passionate about literature and I hope my story inspires children to grow an appreciation for multicultural literature,” says Balletta. Continuing: “Books like this can be a useful resource for teachers to bridge the gap between cultures and teach tolerance and acceptance.  I think it's important for children to learn about other cultures and traditions as well as the American culture.  Hopefully, my book will  spark an interest in young readers to learn more about children from other countries.”

About the Author

Janet was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Colombian and Puerto Rican parents. She was raised Catholic, grew up in Queens, and moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 1993. She graduated from Barry University with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and American College of Education with master's degree in Educational Leadership. Janet  worked as an Administrative Assistant and K-2 ESOL Teacher for Palm Beach County Schools from 1993 to 2006. She currently lives and works as a bilingual second grade teacher in Port St. Lucie, FL. Janet was inspired to write the Legend of the Colombian Mermaid by two daughters who also love mermaids. She is passionate about literacy and hopes her book will inspire children to develop a passion for multicultural literature.

The Legend of the Colombian Mermaid, published by WRB Publishing, is available now from Amazon: .

Official website:

Contact: Janet Balletta / 561-801-2263 /


Artemis J Jones said...

Lou, It would be nice if you put links to social media at the bottom of each post. This would allow us to post to Twitter, F-Book, and tumblr etc..
I want to spread the post about the Colombian Mermaid book, and it is not possible.

Lou Belcher said...

Artemis... thanks for your comment. I didn't realize that the sharing feature was turned off. It is on now, so have at it... :)