Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Book of Beasts: Color and Discover (Jonny Marx)

The Book of Beasts: Color and Discover
Jonny Marx, illustrations by Angela Rizza
Fiction, CH Mythology/Novelty Book
***+ (Okay/Good)

DESCRIPTION: Unicorns, gryphons, merfolk, and manticores, not to mention numerous dragons... Explore more than 90 unusual beasts of fantasy in this annotated coloring book.

REVIEW: I grabbed this hardbound coloring book on clearance, intrigued by the art and the price. It offers a wide range of beasts and beings from many traditions, ranging from ancient Mesopotamia to 19th century America. However, the information, brief as it is, contains some notable omissions and outright errors. (For instance, it describes unicorns as noble and kindly denizens of the forest, when the original unicorns were fierce and quite lethal, save when tamed by a maiden.) It also would've been nice had the text been more clear which culture originated each beast, not always obvious on the less-popular entries. The artwork, however, is bold and imaginative, great for kids who want a little challenge in their coloring books. For clearance price (five bucks), it was worth adding to my collection of fantastic bestiaries and art, though I don't know that it was ever quite worth the twenty dollars it originally went for. (I'm also mystified why it was presented as a hardcover book, which necessitated the higher price. Who needs a hardcover coloring book?)

You Might Also Enjoy:
Tales of Great Dragons (J. K. Anderson) - My Review
The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures (John and Caitlin Matthews) - My Review
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ("Newt Scamander," with J. K. Rowling) - My Review

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