Friday, 10 May 2013

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week - Week Ending 10th May 2013 - "Monsters and Legends" by Davide Call and Gabriella Giandelli (Flying Eye Books)

When I was a wee whippersnapper, I couldn't get enough of books about monsters. Real monsters - books like "Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World" (Does anyone remember being scared to bits by the TV series and its haunting theme tune?) and "Strange Mysteries of Time and Space" by John Keel.

Poor Charlotte doesn't really have a chance, growing up in a household where we love a good monster yarn, or hearing about how the real-world myths and legends about monsters have inspired generations of storytellers to create their own monster stories.

So we were utterly delighted to receive this book from Bounce / Flying Eye, which we've had our eye on for a while. To try and give you a flavour of how popular this book is at home, this is how the average conversation has gone this week.

Charlotte: "Daddy, are you busy?"
Daddy: "Just doing the washing up, why?"
Charlotte: "Hurry up and finish so we can read the Monster Book again!"

(a bit later)

Charlotte: "Daddy can we have the Monster Book before bedtime? It won't give me nightmares!"
Daddy: "But we read it this morning!"
Charlotte: "Yes but I want to read it AGAIN!"

(and again, and again - and so on, and so on!)

Normally hammering a book during the course of a review week does eventually mean that I have to sneakily hide it (just so we can actually - you know - read other books on our schedule!) but 1) This is not a small book and 2) Really, honestly, I love it to bits myself so it's a pleasure to read and re-read.

Here collected in a luxurious hardback volume is a potted history of many monster myths and legends collected together and rather humorously written up by Davide Call with utterly beautiful illustrations by Gabriella Giandelli. The usual 'monster' suspects are in here (Unicorns, mermaids, vampires, werewolves) along with quite a few your novice monster-fiend may not have heard of. For instance, have you ever heard of the Vegetable Lamb of Tartar? Dip into the book and find out all about it!

Of course, you may be a little disappointed that the book points out that a lot of monster myths and legends can quite easily be debunked, but we still secretly believe that monsters are out there, timidly hiding from the onslaught of man taking over their habitats and noisily claiming to be the pinnacle of evolution. Despite this, it's an utterly fantastic book that I feel sure I'll be reading again as soon as I get home, and probably before bed, oh and probably tomorrow morning - and after lunch and (you get the picture!)

Charlotte's best bit: A rather fascinating explanation for mermaids and a cat that headbutts trees!

Daddy's favourite bit: I'm still amused by the Vegetable Lamb of Tartary!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Bounce Marketing / Flying Eye Books)