Magical Creatures and Mythical Beasts, written by Professor Byron & Millie Mortimer, illustrated by Victo Ngai


Magical Creatures and Mythical Beasts
written by Professor Byron & Millie Mortimer (Emily Hawkins)
illustrated by Victo Ngai
Review Copy from Magic CatAbrams Kids
Written by the stars of this book, Magical Creatures and Mythical Beasts is just about the coolest concept book I have ever read! A teacher at the University of Oxford, Professor Mortimer, an expert on folktales and myths, embarks on the adventure of a lifetime with his daughter Millie as the two head off to travel the world searching for stories. Millie, however, thinks there is a lot more than stories to be found and the magic flashlight, included in the cover, is just the thing to shine a light on these unseen creatures. Starting in Oxford, England, the father and daughter duo travel to seventeen different countries in one summer. A two page spread is devoted to each location. A fact box on the left side of each page fills reader in on the details of each creature and where they live, along with other fascinating tidbits. In word boxes scattered throughout the illustration, Millie speaks directly to the reader, narrating their experiences. On the verso, in the lower right corner of each page, a prompt lets readers know what to look for when they dim the ambient lights and shine the mini blue light on each page. Ngai's illustrations are magical and engaging even before the blue light reveals a multitude of creatures on every page. As for the cryptids, you can expect the usual along with the Firebird (Moscow, Russia), griffins (Samarkand, Uzbekistan), yokai (Tokyo, Japan), the Rainbow Serpent (Bungle Bungle Range, Australia), and the Shadow of the Serpent God (Chichen Itza, Mexico). The professor and Millie return to Oxford - specifically the library - where Millie,  engrossed in a book, doesn't notice the sprites making trouble in the shelves. 

Back matter includes additional magical creatures for readers to find hidden in the pages!

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