Book Looks

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

From Nancy Gilson, arts editor of The Columbus Dispatch, comes another one of her great book reviews for kids!

Dragons & Monsters (Candlewick Press, 12 pages, $29.99, age 5 and older) by Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda

Unleashing Matthew Reinhart and Robert Sabuda on dragons and monsters qualifies as pop-up paradise.

The masters of paper engineering have produced a remarkable catalog of three-dimensional creatures in Dragons & Monsters, the third and final entry in their Encyclopedia Mythologica series.

Reinhart and Sabuda organize the beasts according to types and where they come from: eternal villains from mythology, for instance, and dwellers of the depths of the sea including, among others, the kraken of Norse legend, described by sailors as a “cross between an octopus and a crab” who “prowled the oceans, mercilessly dragging ships down to the seafloor.”

The Latin root of the word monster, the authors remind us, comes from monstrum which means “omen” or “warning.”

The book is loaded with pop-ups, including dominant centerpieces on each double page that are accompanied by mini books with as many as three pop-ups inside them.

The big dramatic 3-D images include Medusa’s head covered with 24 serpents, a vibrant Chinese dragon whose snaking body incorporates folded red tissue paper, and a vampire who unfolds himself from his own coffin, his hands grasping the lid of the casket.

More modern creatures aren’t neglected, including the Himalayan yeti, Big Foot, the Loch Ness monster and Mothman, the red-eyed scaremeister from the American Southwest.