Welcome to my review of Mythopedia by Good Wives and Warriors! A book as beautiful as it is magical. Mythopedia an Encyclopedia of Mythical Beasts and Their Magical Tales is the full title. Out now in hardback from Laurence King Press. My thanks to Megan Flint (Laurence King Childrens) for my copy in exchange for an honest review.
It features almost 40 mythical beasts from around the world. It’s a brilliant introduction for children (and adults!). Lots of famous characters e.g. Pegasus, Karaken and Anansi, sit alongside lesser known ones.
The stories spark a reader’s imagination because they are so fascinating and unusual. A particular delight for readers around KS2 (approx 7-11 years old). The engaging writing and beautiful illustrations mean this will be at the top of many Christmas wish lists!
My Thoughts on Mythodpedia
The initial draw of Mythopedia is how beautiful it looks. Gold foil on the cover and spine, and richly colourful illustration combine to give the highest production values. To see it in it’s splendour, check out my bookstagram reel:
This is a truly special book full of tales of wonder. There is an introduction to myths and legends. Then the different creatures are featured. A double page spread gives the background on each beast: origins, locations, special powers, key ‘life events’ etc. For many of the beasts a second double page spread details a special story about them. The myths are divided by continent, so include the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. There is a world map at the beginning and a continental one ahead of each new section.
The stories are engagingly written and truly fascinating. There are some beasts which I’m already familiar with. Anasi (from American Gods), Basilisk (from Harry Potter), and a group from school lessons on ancient history: Pegasus, Cerebus, Kraken, Anubis and Bastet. The vast majority are completely new to me. It’s great to learn more about the ones I knew slightly and to discover new favourites (Tanuki the shape-shifting racoon dog). I enjoy how some of the beast’s stories fit together (e.g. Chimera’s also features Pegasus) because this gives a fuller cultural experience. Each text section is relatively short so it will maintain the interest of younger readers.
A beautifully illustrated encyclopedia with stories of mythical beasts which provides an inspiring and engaging guide to international folklore.
Cover Blurb for Mythopedia
From the West African fable of Anansi the Spider, to Michabo, the magical hare who rebuilt the world and Tanuki, the sweet but troublesome racoon-dog of Japanese folklore, Mythopedia is an encyclopedia of mythical creatures that covers legends, tales and myths from around the world.
Lovingly created by the illustration duo behind popular flipbook Myth Match, Good Wives and Warriors, this book contains pages upon pages of cultural folklore from around the world.
Let these weird and wonderful creatures spark your child’s imagination for their own storytelling and drawing while teaching them about international cultures.
If you enjoyed this review, please take a look at my other book reviews.