Legendary Creatures: Mythical Beasts and Spirits from Around the World

Little, Brown/Christy Ottaviano. Sept. 2022. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316331876.
Gr 2-4–This is a book for nerds, in the most praiseworthy sense of that statement. Bookish kiddos will delight in poring over each fact and anecdote in the pages. Auerbach packs a huge volume of legends in a little bit of space and does it all with an admirable global outlook. The creatures represent a worldwide view, with mythological selections from Korea, Polynesia, Scandinavia, and countless other corners of the world. The creatures are organized alphabetically, and each page contains short snippets of origin stories and exciting moments behind the legendary tales, condensed for quick comprehension. Readers can spend hours flipping through histories or sample a page or two during shorter periods. The bold headings and paragraphs, which max out at about three per creature, help make the information more digestible. The stories are highlighted through simple, colorful, and culturally respectful illustrations in dreamy watercolor and ink. It makes for a fantastical feast for the brain and eyes.
VERDICT A perfect afternoon distraction for daydreamers or worldbuilding fantasy writers.

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