A basic exploration of the appearance, behaviors, and origins of dragons, the scaly mythological creatures known for their ability to fly. Also included is a story from folklore about the defeat of a dragon named Lindwurm.
Part of the Amazing Mysteries series
From scaly dragons to mischievous leprechauns, mythical creatures continue to capture the imaginations of human beings around the world. Appealing to fans of the paranormal and unexplained, this series explores the legendary hold such Amazing Mysteries have over us. Detailed photos and straightforward text examine what is known or supposed about the physical features, motivations, and dwellings of each creature. Each book also includes a story about a legendary encounter with the creature.
This book in the “Amazing Mysteries” series (6 titles) discusses dragons’ roles in stories and world mythologies. There is a slight chance of reader confusion, as these tales describe dragons as if they were real-life animals, and later text presents somewhat scientific-sounding descriptions of various dragons’ physical features. Aside from this pitfall, the book is fun and informative. Gish distinguishes between Eastern dragons (symbol of luck and power) and Western dragons (winged treasure hoarders), specifically mentioning Chinese, Japanize, Indian, English, and ancient Greek examples. Captioned full-page illustrations range from historical art to contemporary film stills to the constellation Draco, and vocabulary words and definitions at the bottom of the pages add information. A retelling of an Austrian story at the book’s end further emphasizes dragons’ roles in folklore and mythology.
–Miriam Aronin, Booklist, 4/1/2020
This well-written, fact-filled series provides satisfying information about the appearance, behaviors, skills, and historical or cultural origins of the creatures, as well as how long stories about them have been told. Cultural variations on the stories (different names or powers) are included. As needed, word origins and definitions from international languages are provided. A brief story concludes each title; the publisher indicates it derives from folklore, but no sources are cited. The series is attractively designed. The cover and inside artworks are striking. Interior illustrations—photos, historical paintings, drawings, etchings, etc.—are accompanied by informative captions. Occasional sidebars appear in the form of captioned spot illustrations. These creatures appeal to the target audience, and the information will tantalize this age group. Recommended for schools and public collections. Werewolves may frighten the youngest children. Ask students which creatures are their favorites. Which would they like to meet and why?
–School Library Journal , 4/1/2020
This new series explores mythological creatures, from dragons to mermaids to unicorns. Each book offers a brief overview of the creature, with a description of its features, behavior, and depictions across the world and in pop culture. A short story from folklore can be found at the end. Keywords are highlighted and defined at the bottom of each page. The text, written at the third grade reading level, is highly readable, with short sentences and no more than one paragraph per page. Full-page images are included throughout, and a muted color scheme makes these hi-lo titles more enticing to older readers. With many students interested in folklore and mythology, this series will appeal to striving readers at the upper-elementary level.
–Great Books/School Library Journal , 6/1/2020