Monsters: A Magic Lens Hunt for Creatures of Myth, Legend, Fairy Tale, and Fiction
If you’re into monsters, this might just be the definitive children’s picture book on the topic. Author Celine Potard and illustrator Sophie Ledesma introduce young readers to 66 different varieties of strange and creepy creatures. Six monsters can be found in each category. And each category covers a colorful, two-page spread. Castle Monsters, Monsters of Greek Myth, Sky and Space Monsters – you get the idea. From The Kraken to Godzilla, to the likely lesser-known Jiangshi and Bunyip, they’re all cast as scary creatures, even Mermaids, (which admittedly do have a reputation for luring sailors into the deep) and the Beast from “Beauty and the Beast,” who is described as “terrible.” One exception is Casper, the Ghost, who is deemed “sad and alone.”
The very first entry is a Troll – described as “dumb as a post and as mean as they come. And his favorite meal? Us!” It’s particularly intriguing to read about monsters in other cultures. The book was initially published in France and several entries mention monsters of French lore, such as the Korrigans, “small hairy elves” who dance in circles as night falls. Stumble upon them and they’ll test you. If you fail their test, the Korrigans will imprison you underground!
The “monster-detecting lens” adds to the fun of these bright and colorful pages. The hand-held red cellophane magnifying glass meets 3D glasses device shows monsters hidden in the illustrations. The creatures, depicted in child-like line drawings, are not visible amid the colorful pages without the lens. There’s even a monster workshop at the back of the book.
Ann Oldenburg ©2019 Parents’ Choice
Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.