Need an introduction to many of the creepy creatures of legends and fantasy books? Look no further—this alphabet book of monsters provides the need-to-know information.
Letter by letter, former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate Lewis announces each creature, describing it with a brief stanza. “K is for Kraken // Of all the legends of the sea, / sailors and fishermen agree / (if they lived to tell my tale!), / I could wrestle shark or whale.” Supplementing this are a few paragraphs that provide succinct information including the monster’s origins, cultural significance and other amusing facts. Kelley's paintings are often darkly evocative and sometimes funny, rounding out the presentation. From the ubiquitous dragon, Frankenstein (both the monster and the doctor) and werewolf to the lesser-known quetzalcoatl, roc and Xing Tian (a headless giant of Chinese legend), readers will come away with a greater appreciation for the wide range of monsters—be they of the air, water or mountain—that have spooked humans for years.
Readers who delve into this title will find their interests piqued; they’ll be ready to move on to other works that explore these menacing fantastical beings more fully. (Informational picture book/poetry. 6-10)