From School Library Journal
Grade 2–5—Dragons, centaurs, hobgoblins, and 11 other mythical creatures of worldwide origins feature in Larios's short poems and Paschkis's distinctive folk paintings. Caught for eternity in compromising situations, some creatures, such as the gargoyle, wax melancholy. "How can a beast fly/with stone wings?/I fly when the bells ring/and the hunchback is home
." As in Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary
(Harcourt, 2006), this bright compendium pairs each poem with a richly drawn and colored scene. An element from the painting is echoed in a decorative letter announcing the poem's title. Though brief, the selections sometimes carry sophisticated cultural references, making this title more relevant to an older audience than the earlier collection. Of the thunderbird, for instance, Larios writes, "Cedar scented,/he carries the wind/in his bent beak./Rainmaker./Whale hunter./Great Tlingit chief." The final page carries a brief paragraph describing the area of origin and the behavior of each creature. It's all a quick and alluring peek at some of the best-known denizens of folklore. Storytellers and classroom teachers will find many uses for these poetic nuggets and the art, both of which will be savored by folklore and fantasy readers of all ages.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
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* "Using poems and pictures, this modern bestiary proves a fascinating introduction to mythical creatures from different cultures. . . . Each creature is described in a poem capturing some of its unique features as well as its mystery. . . . End-pages ingeniously unite the curious creatures providing the perfect start and finish to this little masterpiece." (starred review) (Kirkus Reviews