Bergers Book Reviews

An Illustrated Guide to Mythical Creatures

Author: Anita Ganeri
Illustrator: David West
Publisher: Hammond World Atlas
Genre: Mythology
ISBN: 978-0843-716696
Pages: 48
Price: $15.99

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Stories of mythical creatures have been handed down from generation to generation, since the beginning of time. But where did these legends originate, and who are these fantastic beings? The Illustrated Guide to Mythical Creatures provides a wonderful journey through the past, stimulating the imagination.

This beautifully illustrated reference work is broken up into categories of dragons, flying creatures, chimera, half-human and half-beast, giants, shape-shifters, demons, and others. Within each category, the various mythologies, religious beliefs, and legends are shared with the reader, accompanied by pictures of what these creatures might have looked like.

If you are fascinated with these unusual and unique beings, you’ll find the Illustrated Guide to Mythical Creatures a comprehensive and interesting resource. I highly recommend it for children and adults.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

January 7, 2010 Posted by | fantasy, reference | Leave a comment

The Lexicon

Author: Steve Vander Ark
Publisher: RDR Books
Genre: Literary Reference / Criticism
ISBN: 978-1-57143-174-5
Pages: 368
Price: $24.95

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One of the frustrations of reading a long series is trying to keep track of what’s transpired along the way and who was involved. And when you mix in some magical spells along the way, things can get pretty confusing.

In an effort to consolidate some of the facts worth remembering, Steve Vander Ark has compiled The Lexicon for readers of the Harry Potter series. In encyclopedic format, he provides some of the names and events that happen throughout the narrative. He also includes brief commentary on some of the items, sharing additional information that’s not in the books.

Because of its format, the reader will need to know the word he wants to find. If you want a spell to make yourself appear to be someone else, you’ll have to look for Pollyjuice Potion. There isn’t a general listing of spells so you can find it. But if you’ve just come across this term and you can’t remember what it is, you can easily look it up.

I enjoyed this series immensely, but at times I found it frustrating that I couldn’t remember everything had happened in earlier books. Having The Lexicon at my side would have made it much easier to follow along. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, I highly recommend you pick up this companion work to enhance your reading pleasure.

Reviewer: Alice Berger

April 24, 2009 Posted by | fantasy, reference | Leave a comment