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Here There Be Monsters: The Legendary Kraken and the Giant Squid Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 9, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, August 9, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-6–The title of this fascinating chronicle of giant and colossal squids comes from the warnings placed by early mapmakers to alert sailors about unknown territories and dangers, and the prologue starts things off with a scary story about sighting a mysterious and terrifying sea monster. Each chapter continues the richly detailed story as humans explored and learned more about its life forms. The narrative builds suspense as scientists throughout the world gathered information from sightings and discoveries of body pieces washed up on shore. Full-color photographs, drawings, and reproductions of historical maps and posters amplify the text throughout. Size comparisons to familiar objects provide instant recognition, e.g., the eye of the colossal squid can be more than a foot wide and resemble a beach ball. The last chapters describe and illustrate the exciting recent global efforts that have led to amazing discoveries. A bibliography and detailed index add to the usefulness of this book for reports, but this title will engage general readers with its wealth of historical and scientific information about these fearsome animals.Frances E. Millhouser, formerly at Chantilly Regional Library, Fairfax County, VA
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This intriguing book offers a chronological account of giant squids, beginning with sailors’ tales about krakens and leading up to the groundbreaking discoveries of the past few decades. Following the dramatic prologue, in which readers are asked to imagine themselves centuries ago on a sailing ship attacked by a sea monster with many-clawed tentacles, the book incorporates legend, history, popular culture, and science into a sometimes fascinating story. Newquist, who also wrote The Great Brain Book (2004), clearly describes the challenges faced by scientists in recent years, searching for elusive giant squids in the ocean depths and, later, studying their bodies in the lab. The many illustrations, in color when available, include photos, engravings, and maps. Although there are no source notes, the acknowledgments section references several scientists who provided information. Readers motivated to learn more about giant squids are referred to two adult books and five Internet sites. An attractive, informative book on an underrepresented topic. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (August 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547076789
  • ASIN: B006OHUXQY
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,838,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Orianna TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an excellent resource for anyone looking into the history of the giant and/or colossal squid. The book is aimed at younger readers, but as an adult I found it interesting and informative.

First, it delves into the centuries-old legends of the Kraken and other sea monsters that are believed to have their origins with the giant or colossal squid. It examines modern stories and films that have featured a giant squid, such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Until recent centuries, the giant squid was thought to be nothing more than a sailor's legend, but the book talks about the first specimens to be washed up on shore, or caught in fishermen's nets, finally proving--without doubt--the existence of the giant squid. It then details the various expeditions that set out to capture a live creature, and culminates with the first photographs taken of a live giant squid. What was once merely legend or myth has finally been proved a reality--a creature that lives at impossible depths of the ocean! It also briefly touches on the colossal squid, a much larger and fiercer relative to the giant squid.

From myth to reality, this book chronicles the story of the giant squid in a captivating and easy-to-read format. It is fully realized with illustrations and photographs, making it an immersing experience. Highly recommended if you like myths, marine biology, or simply a fascinating story of how legend was finally proved true.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would have bought this book for the title alone, Here There Be Monsters, so cool! It might seem cooler once you know the history behind it (which it tells in the book). Once we opened it and started reading I found out it is my favorite type of book: One that has history and science and most importantly, it's interesting. It's the kind of book kids read and then tell someone about.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this book for my 9 year-old son, who was very interested in sea creatures--both mythical and real--at the time I ordered it. He found the information about the representation of the Giant Squid and Kraken in art and literature throughout history fascinating. As he read it, he would scream out facts and read passages to me. This portion of the book inspired him to start asking questions about _Moby Dick_ and _20,000 Leagues Under the Sea_. After he finished this, we read the latter title together. This--in my book--is a good thing. Any book that inspires kids to read more deeply gets a good grade from me. From there, he shares that the booked focused on scientific information and modern day discoveries about the Giant Squid. He found the book so fascinating that I found him reading it long after bed time and "lights out". When I asked him to describe the book in ten words or less, he responded: "An awesome book that smart kids will love".
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Here there be monsters" was a label placed by the mapmakers of old on regions where sailors had viewed mysterious creatures. One specific monster, though landlubbers were unsure whether or not to believe in its existence, came to be known as "kraken." Thus Newquist draws in the reader with the tale of a mystifying creature, or rather pair of creatures, later to be labeled as the giant squid (Architeuthis dux) and colossal squid (Mesonychotheuthis hamiltoni). Newquist's enthusiasm is palpable, and this helps create a feel of excitement about the subject matter.

The format of the book is engaging, complete with excerpts from _20,000 Leagues Under the Sea_ and _Moby Dick_, where the creature took hold in fictional literature and both scared and interested those who hadn't had the rare chance of seeing one in person. Also included are historical maps, illustrations, and photos.

Because it's chronologically told, the mystery of these giant creatures' existence is slowly unraveled, such as how, in the early days of discovery, unusual body parts--including giant beaks!--were found inside whales' stomachs, and squid were inexplicably seen washed ashore. Even with the scientific advancements available today, it's a news-making event when researchers can observe these elusive, deep-water animals in the wild.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, my only disappointment being that so many questions remain unanswered about giant and colossal squid. The text ends with the author's acknowledgement that much is still left to be learned, as well as some suggestions on how to follow scientists as they find out more about these interesting creatures.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
H.P. Newquist's latest book, "Here There Be Monsters: The Legendary Kraken and the Giant Squid," is a highly enjoyable and factual look into sea monsters that were initially laughed off by landlubbers but slowly revealed to be real creatures thanks to science and luck. Newquist opens the book by placing the reader at sea hundreds of years ago and then having them live out an actual sea monster attack. From there, Newquist begins a well-paced journey through the wild stories of seafarers and explorers about creatures with multiple arms and bird-like beaks that could bring an entire ship down by itself.

As he passes through the years, he shows how the creatures were given names by men like Erik Ludwig Pontoppidan, made famous in books by writers such as Herman Melville, and brought to life on the screen in films such as "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" and the recent "Pirates Of The Caribbean" films.

Eventually we learn how science reveals that these creatures truly exist. Fact is almost as scary as fiction once the reader realizes that many of the old descriptions of the creatures described by sailors, pirates, and other adventurers weren't that far off of the mark.

This book is written with both fun and education in mind. Children over the age of eight will probably enjoy reading this book. Younger children might need the help of an adult with some of the words and explanations given.

Overall, if you have a young child who's hungry for adventure that can be backed up by facts, give "Here There Be Monsters" a look. You won't be disappointed.
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