NONFICTION

Cryptid Creatures: A Field Guide

Little Bigfoot. Sept. 2019. 224p. further reading. glossary. index. pap. $16.99. ISBN 9781632172105.
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Gr 2-5–For all lovers of bigfoot, ten-foot squid, and other unusual and maybe not real beasts, this “field guide” shares about 50 of these creatures known as cryptids. According to the introduction, cryptozoology is the study of real and imaginary animals that have been observed but not scientifically documented. These cryptids are listed in alphabetical order and start with a text box with first sighting, location, type of cryptid, and a reality rating with stars. One star is a hoax, and six stars means it has been proven to be real. Each entry has about three pages that include a drawing of an adult, a detail of a body part (arm, skull, tentacle), and a drawing of what the young animal looks like. Unfortunately, none of this information has cited resources to indicate where the information about each creature was found. And although there are a few pages devoted to materials for further reading and the book contains lots of detail, including eyewitness accounts that appear to create a sense of truth, how much can readers believe when even the topic is questionable?
VERDICT What could have been a wonderful browsing title for lovers of strange beasts is visually unappealing with a disappointing format. Small size, dense text, and pen drawings will not draw excited young readers into this title. A larger format with some color would have been a wonderful addition but in this format, most readers will be disappointed or bored.

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