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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This is a former library book with all the expected stickers and markings. This book is in good condition. It shows little wear. There are signs of shelfwear along the edges. There may be some minor dents, scratches, or creases in the cover (or dust jacket, if it has one). All in all, this is a solid book.
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Questionable Creatures: A Bestiary Hardcover – June 30, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up—Baynes introduces readers to the creatures and myths found in medieval bestiaries and explains how the books were made and how they were viewed by the general public. The rest of the volume details the commonly held beliefs that both peasants and scholars embraced about specific animals, from well-known fantastical creatures like the manticore and the unicorn to little-known beasts such as the yale and the bonnacon. Even real creatures were given mythical qualities: it was believed that the lion's young were born dead and licked to life by the father three days after birth, while the panther was known for breath so sweet it would summon animals to its side with its belch. Baynes's detailed gouache and colored-pencil illustrations, one full-color page per creature, are done in the style of medieval illuminations and highlight the strangest qualities these animals were believed to have. The artist shows great respect for the early bestiary creators while also giving the stories relevance for modern readers, offering real-life possibilities for why people believed the animals had supernatural properties. Though the subject material has limited appeal, this book will be a coveted resource for mythology buffs who loved Ernest Drake's Dragonology (Candlewick, 2003) and students interested in medieval Christianity.—Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Baynes, best known as the illustrator of C. S. Lewis' Narnia books, was inspired by early bestiaries to create one of her own. A two-page introduction describes these illustrated guides, presenting beasts known or believed to exist in medieval times. The next 20 spreads picture the animals on full-page illustrations with facing pages relating what was known or rumored of the beasts. For instance, lions were thought to sleep with their eyes open, to cover their tracks by sweeping the ground with their tails, and to give birth to stillborn cubs that would later be "licked into life" by their fathers. Other beasts described include camels, gryphons, satyrs, and the phoenix. Baynes captures the worldview of medieval illuminists in handsome illustrations reflecting her distinctive expressions of form and movement. Eye-catching and engaging, this volume offers insight into medieval thought, bestiaries, heraldic beasts, and the perils of unreliable information. As Baynes says, "Believe what you like, but don't believe everything you read without questioning it!" Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 8
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (June 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080285284X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802852847
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Yes, it's for young readers. Gorgeous pictures, and text that explains what early bestiaries had to say. I use this with my history crafts classes.
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By HANNAH on January 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fun book. On the scary side for small children, what with beasts such as "devil" and "manticore" illustrated and described.
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Format: Hardcover
beautiful artwork
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The highlight here are the illustrations. The text is minimal and superficial, and the beasts addressed are just a few, most of them actual, living, fauna. Maybe a book for a very young child to be read imaginatively by the parent? That's probably the niche, but the text is a dry collection of folkloric factoids and the creatures few.
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