MYTHOPEDIA: An Encyclopedia of MYTHICAL BEASTS and Their Magical Tales by Good Wives and Warriors


An Encyclopedia of MYTHICAL BEASTS and Their Magical Tales 
Review Copy from Laurence King

Two years ago, I reviewed the stunningly amazing Myth Match: A Fantastical Flipbook of Extraordinary Beasts by the arts collective, Good Wives and Warriors. I learned SO MUCH about magical creatures from cultures around the world and am THRILLED that they have expanded on Myth Match and given us this gorgeous encyclopedia of cultural folklore. Starting with a map of the mythical world, Mythopedia is divided by continent/region. Each creature is given a two-page spread with a gorgeous illustration and an encyclopedia entry detailing the creature's origin story, powers and purpose. Of the thirty-seven entries, sixteen are followed by a magical tale that gives readers a great taste of what each creature gets up to. My favorite beast and story is the Tanuki, a "troublesome, shapeshifting racoon dog of Japanese folklore." Tanuki love sake, and one night a Tanuki emerges from the forest to find a poor junk seller warming himself with a drink by his campfire. The Tanuki proves to be great company, telling tales of all the shapeshifting and joke playing he has gotten up to, promising to turn himself into a "practical household item" that is sure to sell. The junk seller wakes up with hazy memories and a new, sturdy black tea kettle to sell. Happily, a passing monk purchases it. Sadly, when set on the hot stove, the Tanuki-Tea Kettle shrieks, "Oooh oooh oooh, my bottom!" and runs out of the house, sending the angry monk back to the peddler for a refund. However, the remorseful Tanuki-Tea Kettle finds a way to help the peddler in the end.

Together, MYTH MAGIC and MYTHOPEDIA are the perfect gift that is sure to inspire hours of reading and an explosion of inspiration for readers of all ages.

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