Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bigfoot Caught on Film and Other Monster Sightings (24/7 Science Behind the Scenes Mystery Files)

Teitelbaum, M. (2008). Bigfoot Caught on Film and Other Monster Sightings (24/7 Science Behind the Scenes Mystery Files). New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.

This book explores popular monsters thought to exist, such as Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, and the Kracken. It explains that the scientific name for these creatures is cryptids, of which the definition is, "a creature that some people believe is real but whose existence has not been scientifically proven." The book focuses on the three cryptids mentioned above, offering photos and evidence that supports their existence as well as evidence which negates it. It also briefly discusses a few other cryptids such as, the Chupacabra and the Mothman. It provides historical information on original sightings of these creatures and recent discoveries or confessions of people who falsified evidence supporting their existence. The book takes a scientific approach to the study of cryptids, explaining the role of cryptozoologists, those who study cryptids, and the kind of schooling involved and the other careers of these researchers. It even offers a quiz at the back to see if you "have what it takes to be a cryptozoologist." There is a glossary of terms at the back of the book and as well as a section for further research and reading, full of book titles and websites.

I really enjoyed the way this book was set up. I felt that it could have easily gone pretty hokey and played up the sensationalism of these cryptids. Instead, the book took a scientific approach to the introduction and study of these creatures, offering both information which supported and negated their existence. Most of the information was left relatively open ended, leaving young readers to come to their own conclusions, except for the case of the kracken, or giant squid. This is the only cryptid whose existence has been confirmed. There are plenty of photographs which capture the creatures throughout the book, some of which are confirmed false, with explanations provided for how this was done. The book discusses how young people interested in cryptids can document their own evidence they find, such as making a plaster cast of a footprint. I also thought it was really interesting that the author explains that cryptozoologists rarely ever do it as a career, it's more something of interest to them or something that goes along with their career, such as primatologists or anthropologists.


Reading Level:
Ages 9 - 12

cryptozoology, monsters

Research and evidence both supporting and against the existence of such creatures as Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster.

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