From many traditions (Babylonian, Greek, Indian, Norse, Chinese), 11 tales plus a brief survey of eight more ``Dragons Around the World'' and a 1916 ``Dragon Poem.'' The adaptations are clear but overly truncated—though the lively details of the British ``The Lambton Worm'' and ``The Mordifor Wyvern'' hold interest. Anderson's sinuous, scaly dragons are in a romantic, finely detailed style, but there's a curious sameness to their wicked eyes and pointy fangs (cf. the imaginative variety Peter Sis brings to Prelutsky's The Dragons Are Singing Tonight, p. 1078). Where funds permit, a visually attractive survey that may lead readers to accounts with more depth. (Folklore/Picture book. 7-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-307-17500-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1993

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More eye candy than reference tool, but young monster hunters may find some fresh quarry.



A gallery of strange creatures of lore, from dragons to eaters of gold and dreams.

Capped by a sinuous dragon on a double gatefold, Auerbach’s translucently hued figures are more graceful than fearsome, but the chimerical ones—particularly the scorpion-tailed Girtablilu people drawn from the epic of Gilgamesh and the Mahabharata’s Navagunjara, made up of parts of nine creatures—are appealingly bizarre. His 20 alphabetized selections, which span the globe, include unicorns, griffins, the golem, merfolk of several varieties, a benign nightmare eater from Japan, a Chilean bird that consumes precious metals, the wildlife-protecting Mimi of Arnhem Land, and Te Ika-a-Māui, a truly large fish that became New Zealand’s entire North Island. The visuals have to carry the load here, however, since despite appending brief references to older sources of information about each entry in a closing section, all that he offers to accompany the pictures are a few perfunctory descriptive notes or explicated legends drawn, to judge from the booklist at the end, from secondary sources. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

More eye candy than reference tool, but young monster hunters may find some fresh quarry. (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-33187-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano Books

Review Posted Online: May 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2022

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A solid, fun read for fantasy lovers.


From the Kit the Wizard series , Vol. 3

Josh, Kit, and Alita find themselves in the middle of yet another magical adventure.

The summer is coming to a close, but first there’s a dragon egg to plant under the new school library. It is well known that librarians are wizards and that in order to have a proper library, a dragon, with all its magic, must be housed underneath. But that is where everything goes wrong. On the first day of school, the three children rush to meet their new librarian, Ben, and to sneak a peek at the dragon egg to see if it’s ready to hatch...only to find it’s been stolen. With the help of Ben and Faith, a librarian friend from their previous outings, the children set out to find the egg, in the process uncovering a cabal of dark wizards bent on overturning the wizarding world. The worldbuilding feels plausible, and readers will easily picture the magical Book Wood, imagine a dragon living under their own libraries, and envision themselves casting spells and battling giant, evil rats. Young readers will be surprised at the twists and turns the story takes. Ortu’s charming and appealing illustrations are well laid out, helping to flesh out this diversely populated world. The story opens with a brief recap, making it completely accessible to those who have not read the earlier two entries.

A solid, fun read for fantasy lovers. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: May 24, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1495-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Walker US/Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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