Mythopedia: An Encyclopedia of Mythical Beasts and Their Magical Tales

Laurence King. Sept. 2020. 128p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781786276919.
Gr 1-5–This collection presents a superficial introduction to a wide range of mythical creatures from around the world, including the Quetzalcoatl, the Kraken, the Grootslang, and the Yeti. The book is divided into geographic sections: the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Each section covers several mythological monsters, beasts, or animal gods, and brief versions of their associated myths. The two-page spreads are beautifully designed. The book’s strength is in its bold and eye-catching artwork. Each color-saturated page provides detailed, vivid illustrations that bring these myths to life. The text is straightforward, although condensing the myths into such short versions means that the names and necessary context overwhelm the narratives themselves. The absence of source notes or citations for any of the stories is certainly a weakness, especially considering the history of colonialism and its impact on the way in which folklore has been repackaged for a mass audience.
VERDICT While the art is beautiful, this book is not recommended for most library collections due to the lack of references for any of its mythology or cultural information.

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