Early Book Review: The Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Creatures by Stephen Krensky, Pham Quang Phuc

 The Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Creatures was written by Stephen Krensky and illustrated by Pham Quang Phuc. It is currently scheduled for release on October 13 2020. In this book readers will meet a 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 rumors of dragons, there is an interesting story behind every magical beast. 
The Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Creatures is a decent introduction to a wide variety of creatures of myth, religion, and folklore from around the world. I liked that a wide variety of regions and cultures are included, and think the organization of the creatures is well done. The illustrations are bold and eye catching. They do a great job of illustrating the creatures and habitat in question, and keep the interest of readers. I also liked the information on the legends surrounding common animals, the A-Z listing with short summaries of the creatures included, and the glossary included at the back of the book. I did this some of the information on the listed creatures in their large spreads did a good job of showing how some stories are told around the world, with slight variation due to culture, climate, and other factors. However, some bits were a little too simplistic, varied from what I have previously read on the subject, or left of bits that I always found the most interesting. Since mythology and folklore are among my favorite reading subjects, so newcomers and the children most likely to pick this up might not have have the same reactions. It could also be that I have read so many retellings and variations on some of these stories that I could be holding onto favorite bits from more current takes on the subjects than the author and research done here would have considered.  

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