Monsters from many lands, cultures, and media are revealed by peering through a red cellophane spyglass.
Placed in cartoon landscapes or other settings and hiding behind red grids that vanish when viewed through the colored lens, the monstrous lineup features the likes of a troll, Dracula, and the Big Bad Wolf but also goes far beyond such usual suspects to include Gollum, Voldemort, Jabba the Hutt, Edward Scissorhands, Cthulhu, the ghost of Anne Boleyn, and Martians—not from The War of the Worlds but the ones with exploding heads from Mars Attacks! Reflecting the distinctly Eurocentric (not to say Gallic) slant to the selections, at least eight are or are billed as French while only one, Mokele-Mbembe, represents African traditions, and there are no Native American boojums. Also, some entrants, such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, Hypsignathus (a big but real bat), and the Dahu, a goatlike creature of French folklore that has short legs on one side for walking on slopes, seem like outliers. Whether they are bad actors or not, Ledesma draws them all in such a scrawly, naïve style that they would be hard to recognize without the prompts that Potard supplies (“JAWS: This giant shark has razor-sharp teeth,” and “you can tell he’s coming by the scary music”) along the bottom edges. For young fans who want to make their own monsters and/or spyglass, an array of reproducible body parts for the former and simple directions for the latter bring up the rear.
An unusual gallery of new and old monsters, kaiju, cryptids, creatures, and pop-culture creations. (Informational novelty. 5-9)