A Field Guide to Fantastical Beasts An Atlas of Fabulous Creatures, Enchanted Beings, and Magical Monsters Author: Olento Salaperäinen Publisher: Sterling, October 11, 2016 Format: Flexibound Paperback, 192 pages ISBN: 9781454920946 List Price: US$14.95
A beautiful, illustrated guide to the most magical creatures of legend and myth.
Fairies, demons, four-legged fiends, and, of course, zombies: the world is filled with fantastical beings, beautiful and scary. Come meet them in this magnificently illustrated menagerie, which includes many creatures made famous by popular fantasy and sci-fi film franchises. Take a detailed look at everything from goblins, pixies, and gnomes to vampires and dragons, and discover their origins in literature, folklore, and ancient history.
Olento Salaperäinen’s A Field Guide To Fantastical Beasts is the perfect book to take with you on a fairy hunt into the woods. Salaperäinen groups the beasts by category: Fairies & and Little People, Demons & The Undead, Water Creatures, Hybrid Beasts, Humanoid Creatures and then The Sacred & The Divine; with about seven to ten creatures listed alphabetical in each of those subcategories.
Each beast has one to two pages of information about it with an illustration. Salaperäinen tells us where the beast originates from and some interesting tidbits from history. One that I found interesting for example is Gremlins weren’t created until World War I. They gave pilots a lot of trouble, since the Gremlins like to eat and destroy engines and machinery. Salaperäinen also includes information about each beast and how they interact with pop culture. There’s a great reference of Michael J. Fox’s Teen Wolf in the Werewolf entry.
The art in the book is wonderfully folky and gives the book its very own characters. Salaperäinen also added a glossary, index and bibliography in the back in case you want to go deeper into the subject.
One of the weaknesses of the book is its limited scope of beasts. As a fan of all things mythical and fantastical, I want to learn about new creatures. I would be surprised if the everyday non-fantasy fan hasn’t heard of each of the beasts. I will say that even though the entries are small they do pack a big punch of information.
A Field Guide To Fantastical Beasts is the perfect beastiary for young adults or people new to the subject. The only warning a parent or reader needs to be aware of is there is a subcategory dealing with Demons and the Undead, so depending on your own personal beliefs you may want to steer clear. Otherwise, I would feel comfortable suggesting this to Tweens and Adults.
You may view part of A Field Guide To Fantastical Beasts at Issuu here.