Sunday, March 13, 2011
What a Beast!: A Look-It-Up Guide to the Monsters and Mutants of Mythology
Kelly, S. (2010). What a Beast!: A Look-It-Up Guide to the Monsters and Mutants of Mythology. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.
This is an encyclopedia of the monsters and mutants of mythology. Each section on a particular monster is set up as a social networking site page, with their profile, 10 things to know about them, and their "family, flings, friends, and foes." Each entry is humorous, but informative, for example, one of the 10 things listed about the Harpies is, "Did we mention our stench? We did? Well, it's worth mentioning twice!" The book also relates each entry to things today in the section "Reality Checks," such as an image of a Siren as the Starbucks logo. Each entry also provides the Greek story surrounding each monster or mutant, such as how they were born, myths in which they are featured in, and how they died (if applicable). The end of the book contains a family tree, which is extremely helpful in keeping track of all of the gods and goddesses and their offspring.
The format of this book is great; the social networking concept is entertaining and will appeal to tween readers. It's been awhile since my college Greek mythology class and I am currently reading The Lightening Thief, so this was a great refresher for some of characters in that book. I enjoyed the many different components of each entry, the history, the humor, and the relevance of mythology to us today. As I progressed through each entry it was very difficult to keep track of all of the gods and goddesses and I kept thinking that a family tree would have been helpful. Once I finished I realized there was one, but at the end of the book. Overall this is an awesome book, I look forward to reading more in the series.
Ages 9 - 12
This book is part of the Mythopedia series. Other titles in the series are:
She's All That: A Look-It-Up Guide to the Goddesses of Mythology
All in the Family: A Look-It-Up Guide to the In-Laws, Outlaws, and Offspring of Mythology
Oh My Gods!: A Look-It-Up Guide to the Gods of Mythology
An encyclopedia full of the origins, history, and relevance of the mutants and monsters of Greek mythology.