The Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Creatures // by Stephen Krensky // illustrated by Pham Quang Phuc
Pub Day: October 13, 2020
Enter the enchanting world of mythical creatures and explore the history behind them in this beautifully illustrated compendium for kids aged 7 to 9.
You’ll meet an incredible cast of mind-boggling fictional animals from all around the world. Say hello to Bigfoot in the forests of North America and learn about the Native American traditions that inspired its story. Voyage to Japan to meet kitsune, supernatural nine-tailed foxes that can turn into humans. And jump onboard an ancient storm-battered ship to learn why mermaids were the last thing a sailor wanted to see…
Learn about the societies that spawned these legendary creatures, from Ancient Greece to the indigenous tribes of Australia, and find out what the beasts tell us about the people who created them.
From narwhal tusks inspiring the legend of unicorns, to dinosaur bones creating rumours of dragons, there is an interesting story behind every magical beast. Mythical Beasts and Magical Creatures tells you everything you need to know about supernatural animals great and small.
This honestly must be the most beautiful children’s book I put my hands on this year, or even ever. Between the subject, the text, and the illustrations, there is nothing I did not like about this book. There is no question of whether this book will end up on my shelf as a physical copy.
The book is split into 8 sections: Our Mysterious World, Good and Evil, Tricksters, Shape-Shifters, Almost Human, Creatures of the Deep, Winged Wonders, and Beasts of the World. Each section starts out with a quick intro that is followed by the creatures and beasts that fall into its category. They each have a page spread dedicated to them that includes their name, an illustration, where in the world they originate from, and a few paragraphs of description.
At the end of the book, you will find an A-Z of Creatures that lists all of them in alphabetical order in case you are searching for a specific one. There, you also find the meaning of their name as well as a quick origin section. This is followed by the Glossary and Index to further assist in a specific search and to decipher the meanings of words that may be unknown to the reader.
I know I already said it above but I have to say it again. This book is stunning. Pham Quang Phuc is an absolutely brilliant illustrator that makes this book such a gift to own. Or to give away. This would be a beautiful present for any child. While the book itself is definitely interesting, the marvelous illustrations with their vibrant colors just take it to a whole different level.
Aside from being a great children’s book, I honestly think this would be a fun and quick resource for writers looking for creatures to include in their stories. There is obviously not enough information about them to base an entire character on them and they would need to do more research to really be culturally accurate but it is a fun reference place to get started.
Did I mention it is beautiful yet?
About the Author:
Stephen Krensky has published more than 100 books of fiction and non-fiction including The Last Christmas Tree, illustrated by Pascal Campion and the Sydney Taylor Award winning Hannukah at Valley Forge, illustrated by Greg Harlin. He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with his wife, Joan.
For more about and from him, see: http://stephenkrensky.com/
About the Illustrator:
Pham Quang Phuc earned a degree in graphic design and has several years of experience as an illustrator. He currently works for Kim Dong Publishing House – the oldest publishing house for children in Vietnam as an art editor and designer. With his childhood dream of writing for children, he now considers storytelling is a way to balance his life, and hopes young readers will gain interests and dreams from his stories
About the Publisher:
DK is the bestselling and award-winning publisher known for informing, entertaining, and educating global audiences through beautifully designed content. DK also publishes the Eyewitness series for children and Eyewitness Travel Guides. Prima Games, Alpha Books, and Rough Guides are also available from DK, a division of Penguin Random House.
Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.