A revised and considerably expanded version of one of the foundational guides to North American boojums, with (wait for it) glow-in-the-dark illustrations!
Johnson leaves out the splinter cat but adds the hoop snake, whose poison is “worse than a Frenchman’s socks,” to the roster of a 1910 original that was loosely based on lumberjacks’ yarns. And what a roster! From the hodag—“three thousand pounds of pure carnivorous appetite”—and the noxious immigrant leprocaun to the squirrellike wapaloosie, which will eagerly skitter up the nearest tree even when killed and made into a scarf, these 20 rare creatures are not only wildly peculiar of habit, but as likely as not to bring gruesome death—or worse. Taking particular aim at the French, Johnson expands on the original writer’s terse descriptions with colorful accounts of tragic encounters, personal observations as an aspirant to the Nobel Prize in cryptozoology, addenda (the “entire [hoop snake chapter] is false”), and a closing gallery of such summary facts as habitats, diets, and relative “fearsomeness” and “absurdity.” Mead gives both of these latter qualities visual expression with portraits of variously horned, fanged, grimacing monsters at each entry’s head, plus internal vignettes, bloodstains, and occasional double-page scenes of carnage. Luminescent ink on the cover and eight inside illustrations offers extra thrills in dimmer settings.
A folk treasure as well as required reading for hikers, trail bikers, and would-be cryptid hunters. (annotated bibliography) (Folklore/fantasy. 10-13)