An A to Z of Monsters and Magical Beings by Rob Hodgson & Aidan Onn

An A to Z of Monsters and Magical Beings 
by Rob Hodgson & Aidan Onn
Review Copy from Laurence King
Story: An ABC concept book, rather than a narrative, each monster and magical creature gets a paragraph that describes, details and invites questions and curiosity. What I especially love about this book are the monsters and creatures from other cultures that populate this marvelous book. From the Eloko who protect the animals and plants of the African rainforests to the practical-joke-loving Far Darrigs of Ireland and the Xing Tian, a Chinese headless giant, readers will delight in new discoveries. And, old favorites like the kraken, minotaur, troll and werewolf appear along with pixies, zombies, imps, banshees and dragons.
Pictures: Designer and illustrator Hodgson delivers superb illustrations, as can be found in every book designed and published by Laurence King. Hodgson walks a fine line between engagingly scary to too much with his colorful, childlike illustrations. Sometimes humans are playfully engaging with the monsters, sometimes they are running in fear. And sometimes, the magical creatures are playfully engaging with humans, like the small, hairy hobgoblins who hide in the fireplace and creep out at night to do helpful jobs and occasionally misbehave, like eating all the cookies. Happily, laying out a new set of clothes (pointy hats are a favorite) are the one way you can get rid of them! At the end of the book is a two page spread with all the monsters and magical creatures, A to Z, in one place.
Why Buy? Why Read?: I don't think I even need to say anymore here, but I will. As someone who loves magical creatures, cryptids especially, I can tell you that there are actually very few encyclopedic collections (with magnificent illustrations) on this subject. An A to Z of Monsters and Magical Beings is one of the best I've seen, from the collection of creatures to the fantastic illustrations. I learned something new and was completely engaged on every page.

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