Monday, 9 November 2009

An Illustrated Guide to Mythical Creatures by Anita Ganeri and David West (Book Review)

If you are looking for a book for a young fantasy lover in the 9 to 12 years of age group, or those still young at heart, this may be just the one to keep them interested for repeat reading. It’s a slim hardcover with 3D photos accompanied by a paragraph or two of concise descriptions of where each of the legends originated. There are the usual creatures of myth and legend combined with their modern counterparts with separate sections: Dragons, Serpents & Worms; Flying Creatures; Chimera; Half-human, half-beast; Water Beasts; Giants; Shape-Shifters; Demons, Ghouls & Ghosts and a Glossary that provides a brief explanation of terms used within the book.

Within the Shape-Shifter section there are the familiar vampires and werewolves, selkies and swan maidens, skinwalkers and wendigos of North American First Nation lore, the Japanese Kitsune: a fox-like creature with many tails, and others.

Even adults will be kept mesmerized, as I was while reading through each of the descriptions.

Book format: hardcover: 48 pages
Authors: Anita Ganeri and David West
Publisher: Hammond World Atlas
Published: September 2009


Available in January 2010 at

A special thank you to Kristel Kempin for sending this book out to me.


Raph G. Neckmann said...

Sounds like a lovely book, Barbara! I've no doubt I would be mesmerized too.

Sepiru Chris said...

Hi Barabara, These books always delight, particularly the age brackets you reference.

Who couldn't love a well-illustrated bestiary? Thanks for bringing this to our notice just before Christmas.


(PS while I am about to dip into the archives, I won't be leaving a lot of notes--bursa in the wrist--but I am sure I will be enjoying all I read. You are dependably engaging.)

Charles Gramlich said...

Sounds like it would make a nice reference book.

Cloudia said...

What those two worthies above said!

A delightful review of a tantalizing book.

And yes, you are reliably enjoyable, Barbara.

Aloha, my Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Julian Davis said...

Sounds like it is a great book 'Barbara' . Thank you for your information dear friend.

Dina said...

Wow, I can hardly wait for the grandsons to learn how to read so we can get this book in a few years.

Barbara Martin said...

Charles, the book also mentions centaurs with the bodies of scorpions that guarded the gates to the land of the sun god, Shamash, during the epic of Gilgamish in Mesopotamia.

Yes, as a reference book for writers it would be ideal.

Cloudia, perhaps you know of some Hawaiian legends about sea creatures.

Julian, welcome and one day I'll make my way down to Australia.

Barbara Martin said...

Dina, they can be read to now, alhtough some of the beasties might be a bit scarey for them while so young.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

9-12? Are you kidding? How about 9-88!

Barbara Martin said...

Gary, I did mention adults would be mesmerized too. I've put in a request to Santa's elves for you.

Leah J. Utas said...

Hmm, sounds like my kind of reference book.

Teresa said...

I'm with the person who says it sounds good for people from 9-98. Thanks for the review, Barbara.

pattinase (abbott) said...

What a fabulous idea for a book and it looks like they've made the most of it.

RuneE said...

I must mention this one to my youngest daughter (aged 16). She is into drawing them.

A Cuban In London said...

Many thanks for another stellar review. My son's birthday is coming up so I will include this title in my amazon wishlist.

Greetings from London.

Donnetta said...

Right up my alley! Sounds like I should get ahold of it. Hope all is well with you. D