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THE ESSENTIAL WORLDWIDE MONSTER GUIDE by Linda Ashman Kirkus Star

THE ESSENTIAL WORLDWIDE MONSTER GUIDE

By Linda Ashman (Author) , David Small (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-82640-0
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

As pithy and clever as Ogden Nash at his best, Ashman profiles 13 magical creatures from as many parts of the world. Not all are big, or even malign; the ant-sized Abatwa of southern Africa, for instance, are not so much dangerous as in danger from the shoes of heedless passersby. Still, the canny visitor will want to watch out for the likes of India’s 20-armed Ravana, the Inuits’ man-eating Adlet, and, of course, the Loch Ness Monster. Small links the creatures into a tour, sending two children and an attentive basset hound around the world in a balloon. Gifted caricaturist that he is, he renders the Sirens as a tightly-coiffed girl group, the easily irritated Russian Domovik sprite as a diminutive Stalin, and even slips in a self-portrait as a tourist about to have an unfortunate run-in with a troll. There’s no Yeti in the portrait gallery, but its North American counterpart, Sasquatch, takes a star turn as a diaphanous figure rearing up to snatch the clothes from passing skiers. As both a surefire read-aloud and a heads-up for prospective young travelers, this can’t be beat. (Poetry. 7-10)