Gruesome Guide to World Monsters

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9780763617271: Gruesome Guide to World Monsters
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Make room in your suitcase for this monstrously entertaining guide to fantastic creatures around the world — and how to elude them.

I did not make any of this up.

Do you know why you should have baby teeth handy when visiting the Midwest? Or why you should bring a cucumber with you when swimming in Japan? How good are you at solving Russian riddles? From Boston to Bejing, from Moscow to Mali, any place you visit has its own terrifying tales of very real creatures. Complete with handy "gruesomeness ratings," this guide offers all the important facts on some sixty-three folkloric monsters and how (if possible!) to survive an encounter with them. Meticulously researched by Judy Sierra and illustrated in grotesque detail by Henrik Drescher, here is the ultimate resource for any world traveler, armchair or otherwise, hoping to make it home alive.

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About the Author:

Judy Sierra is a scholar of folklore and mythology as well as the author of many award-winning books for children, including the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller WILD ABOUT BOOKS. Of THE GRUESOME GUIDE TO WORLD MONSTERS, she says, "I wrote this book for people who, like me, find Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster rather disappointing. I had so much fun researching this book, as I discovered little-known accounts of monsters more frightening than I ever imagined."

Henrik Drescher has written and illustrated many wonderful books for children and adults, including PAT THE BEASTIE and THE BOY WHO ATE AROUND. His illustrations are frequently seen in ROLLING STONE, NEWSDAY, and THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW. He lives in Hong Kong.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Gr. 5-8. In this exquisitely presented parody of a field guide (similar in approach to Dragonology, without the novelty elements), Sierra's controlled text provides a counterweight to artwork that's like graffiti scribbled on the walls of Bedlam. But don't assume Sierra's role is exclusively moderating. In delivering the vital stats of more than 60 monsters, she reveals a deliciously macabre side (one Brazilian beastie "massages his victim's body until it is as soft as a ripe avocado . . . [and] sucks out all his organs"), while layering doses of deadpan humor among the chilling details ("Survival hints" for facing the French grim reaper? "Not applicable."). Some readers may wish for maps locating the monsters' native lands, as well as notes about specific cultural sources. Still, this will delight junior-high readers and older devotees of Terry Jones' Lady Cottington's Pressed Fairy Book (1994) and Edward Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies (1997), who will exult in the Bosch-like envisioning, and then mull over Sierra's endnote about the cautionary purposes served by monster stories. For readers looking for a milder scare, suggest Linda Ashman's The Essential Worldwide Monster Guide (2003). Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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