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Written by Ian Eagleton

Illustrated by James Mayhew


Winner of the inaugural Polari Children’s and YA Prize 2022, praised for being “important and radical”.


A modern adaptation of a classic ‘little mermaid’ tale, Nen and the Lonely Fisherman tells the story of a merman’s search for true love, sending a song of hope across the sea while a lonely, caring young fisherman named Ernest hopes to find warmth in his heart. As the two meet, they feel a special connection, much to the dismay of Nen’s father Pelagios who creates a wild sea storm to protect his son and the ocean. Can Nen save Ernest?


This wonderful paperback book showcases a story of love in adversity, which serves as reminder to us all to care for people and planet.




“A lovely, gentle story of friendship and love between a merman, Nen, and Ernest, the fisherman of the title, with a conservationist theme rippling throughout. Mayhew's light-dappled, tender illustrations are the perfect foil for Eagleton's quiet, well chosen words.” - The Guardian 


“An inclusive, hopeful fairytale with beautifully dreamy art.” - Fiona Noble, The Bookseller


“Tender, hopeful and brave.” - Abi Elphinstone


“Beautiful and heart-warming.” - Sophie Anderson


“A gorgeous book - children and adults alike are going to absolutely love it.” - Benjamin Dean


“Full of heart and gorgeous artwork.” - Lew Newbery


“A gorgeous tale of connection, acceptance and love.” - Through The Wardrobe Books


“Magnificent.” - Tell Tale Books


“A beautiful tale of longing, love and the importance of protecting the oceans ... a standout picture book.” - Matthew Todd, Former Editor, Attitude Magazine


Format: Paperback

Nen and the Lonely Fisherman

  • "This is such a beautiful love story, a modern-day fairy tale that explores forbidden love, a love that triumphs against all odds, and it depicts how important it is to follow your heart because if you don’t you be lonely and miss meeting your soulmate" @bookb4bedtime


    "It’s a truly beautiful read, full of tenderness and emotion, a wonderful love story" @mrs_w_loves_reading


    "Full of awe, wonder and excitement, plus stunning pictures"


    “The raw emotion pours our of every page.” - Edspire


    “Destined to be a classic. 'Sofishticated' uplifting and full of strength against adversity.” - Tom Griffiths of checkmeoutbooks blog

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