Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fabulous and Monstrous Beasts by Belinda Weber

Fabulous and Monstrous Beasts is a fictional field guide, rather than an actual story. The book is very well organized, dividing the monsters into three different sections: air, land, and water beasts. The major and minor sections are arranged clearly and according to the table of contents. Large, colorful, detailed pictures help the reader visualize the monsters and connect to the informative paragraphs about the different creatures. The guide hits the basic points about the monster such as its lore from the area it originated but doesn't go into complicated details. The author only gives small examples of the variations of the creatures, and doesn't list all of them. When you reach the end of the book, there is a reference that contains the following sections: Folklore of today, Real-life monsters, a Glossary, an Index, and Further reading. The Folklore of today lists common animals and their place in folklore. The Real-life monster section describes animals from our natural world with amazing traits or abilities some of which were the basis for the mythological creatures list in the book. The Glossary gives a brief definition of the monsters or creatures along with places and other terms used in the book. The index is straightforward; it lists the term and the page number(s) it is located on. The Further reading section contains a list of books and websites with more information about monsters and creatures.

Now, you may be thinking, If it's a book about monsters that could tear you apart, won't there be blood and such in it? The answer to that question is a simple no. The only parts of the book that weren't too gentle weren't as bad as you may think. There was only three pictures, one with MINOR blood, another was a bunch of stuff that could have been an extremely large lump of seaweed that kind of resembled a sea-monster carcass, and the last one was a beheaded Hydra head. I really enjoyed how the pictures were painted with intricate details, so that you can see every separate strand of fur and scale. I would recommend this book to anyone who is 7 and up, and who enjoys fantasy beasts.

Reviewer Age:12

Reviewer City, State and Country: Round Rock, TX USA