'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 29 August 2019

Review: Atlas of Monsters and Ghosts

This is a fantastic idea from Lonely Planet Kids. What kid wouldn’t love to read about the best ghosts and monsters in the world?

The book is narrated by monster hunter Van Helsing, and he takes the reader on a journey around the world to explore the famous and not so famous ghosts and monsters of history.

Starting in Europe, we read about Dracula and the Loch Ness Monster, trolls, goblins and ogres, and some lesser known ghosts such as the Undead of Poveglia and the White Lady of Dragsholm Castle.

We are also introduced to some key creatures in Greek mythology and their stories. Harry Potter fans will recognise the phoenix and the basilisk, but they may not know the chimera, hydra or harpy.

Van Helsing tells us the location and key characteristics of each creature and, importantly, provides information on how to beat the scariest of monsters so that you can be prepared. Each section also contains a double page map, showing you where to find these spooky creatures as you trek around the world.

On our journey, we find a three headed dragon in the Caspian Sea, an immortal demon from India and an unsightly floating head spirit from Thailand. I particularly like the mischievous imp from Japan who sneaks around at night cutting people’s hair!

The quirky illustrations by Laura Brenlla suit the book perfectly. The dark colour palette gives a subtle spooky feel, and the splashes of brighter colours are cleverly used to bring the unnerving creatures to life.

This book is definitely a hit in my house. It is one of the few books that has appealed to the full range of kids, with the 5, 9 and 12 year olds all enjoying it for different reasons.

This is a large format, hard cover book and would be great for a reluctant upper primary reader. The fun illustrations dominate the pages so the text does not seem dense, and the engaging writing style will draw kids into the monster hunt to learn more about these weird and spooky beings from around the world.

I love mythology and the insights it gives you to the culture and history of a country, so I’m a fan of presenting mythology in a quirky way that will get kids interested. This book is different and fun, yet informative and well targeted to curious primary school kids.

Title: Atlas of Monsters and Ghosts
Author: Federica Magrin
Illustrator: Laura Brenlla
Publisher: Lonely Planet Kids, $26.99
Publication Date: 1 July 2019
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781788683463
For ages: 7 - 12
Type: Non-Fiction