Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review - M is for Monster


M is for Monster: A Fantastic Creatures Alphabet

By: J. Patrick Lewis
Illustrated by: Gerald Kelley
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Publication Date: August 2014
ISBN: 978-1585368181
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: August 2014

Muwhahaha! There are monsters everywhere you look, not just under the bed! All kinds of people know about the legendary Nessie. “L is for Lock Ness Monster / am I fake? Or am I real? / An enormous monster eel? / The truth is anybody’s guess. / Maybe I’m just clever-Ness.” Yes, there is Nessie and there is the naiad. There are ogres we can find in our fairy tales and that Phoenix who rose from the ashes. Some are mischievous like the Imp, but some are downright scary like the Native American Skin-walker. Watch out because those things can steal your very being!

Some monsters are old ‘n legendary, but some are rather new to the scene. Look out! There goes Harry Potter’s hippogriff! “H is for Hippogriff / Half an eagle, half a horse, / I’m all hippogriff, of course. / Back end tail, front end beak; / put together make me s-t-r-e-a-k!” There are friendly unicorns, but then there are vampires who just might want to nibble on your neck. Kraken. Do you know what a Kraken is? How about a Roc? Not to worry, if you don’t you will after you read this book!

This is a fun, fabulous alphabet book about monsters, monsters, and more monsters. Patrick Lewis, who certainly knows his verse, spins some perfectly monstrously great ones in this book. Each verse is accompanied by a sidebar with a “real” historical vignette about each lettered item. For example when we check out “C is for Centaur” we learn all about its mythological origin and where it appears in literature. The artwork is positively spooktacular and awesome too. Everything about this book is very kid friendly and beckons them to open the pages and begin to read and learn.

Quill says: Any youngster who adores monsters will love learning a bit more about their favorite ones!