Giants, Monsters, And Dragons

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A richly illustrated encyclopedia that describes individual beings in their cultural context, grouping them across cultures and explaining common mythological themes.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Recommended for public and school libraries where similar references are used."


Library Journal

"… The coverage is truly worldwide, from the North American Sasquatch to the Australian serpent Aranda that drags its victims into the billabongs … To assist the researcher, every entry cites reference tools and anthologies that include that particular creature … Highly recommended for public and academic libraries."


Lawrence Looks at Books

"A place to begin comparative studies that require basic identification, definition, and location."



Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! have nothing on Rose, at home in a thicket of menacing creatures.
Reminiscent of the comprehensive volumes used by the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this resource offers a global collection of monsters. The more than two thousand entries are taken from traditional religious texts, classic literature, and oral folklore. Each entry includes a description, origin, story, references to similar beasts from other parts of the globe, and sources. There is no pronunciation key. Entries range from a few sentences to several columns for the generic entries, such as "Dragons, Occidental." The slant is European, with a large number of Native American, Indian, Chinese, and Pacific monsters but few from Africa and Latin America. A geographic appendix allows the reader to jump to entries for cultures of interest, but the imbalance in a supposedly global encyclopedia is notable. A more thorough reading reveals further deficits. An entry for Golem includes only the monsters of Jewish folklore, with no mention of Tolkien's monster of the same name. Yet Tolkien's Ents and Mumarkil have their own detailed entries. The few, mediocre illustrations are black-and-white reprints of ancient art. Because the true value of this volume is the text, the poor quality of the illustrations would be a minor matter, except that the captions under the illustrations do not refer to the adjacent headings. An illustration captioned "Ulysses and his men escape the Cyclops" appears alphabetically in the Ps. Although the Cyclops in the illustration is Polyphemus, who does have his own entry, his name is not listed in the caption. Such confusing, abbreviated captions are found elsewhere as well. Cross references are numerous but incomplete, as in the reference to a separate Oriental Unicornlisting under Chiai Tung, whereas the oriental unicorns have been included only as a subsection of the Unicorn listing. These discrepancies in the text make the volume difficult to use for research. If this resource were as thorough as its introduction promises, it would be a must-buy for any collection despite its price tag. It still might be a good addition for libraries wishing to expand their existing folklore and mythology collections, but it is not the best choice for an opening collection. Had the author focused on a particular geographic area and taken the time to get the details correct, this work might have been a very valuable resource. The book is an optional purchase only. 2000, ABC-CLIO, 428p, Index, Illus, Biblio., Source Notes, Appendix, PLB. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Beth Karpas VOYA, February 2001 (Vol. 23, No.6)
This comprehensive and well-organized volume contains over 2000 entries describing all manner of creatures in mythology, legend and folklore from cultures all around the world. The entries, usually concise, although some are longer, are informative and lucid, with see also references as well as citations to the selected bibliography at the end of the book. Entries are listed alphabetically in the beginning of the book, allowing researching students to know at a glance whether the creature they seek is included. Furthermore, in a thorough appendix, Rose groups the creatures by type as well as by culture. This is a fascinating reference tool and a vital resource for any library serving young adults. Category: Social Studies. KLIATT Codes: SA*—Exceptional book, recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2000, Norton, 428p. illus. bibliog., $17.95. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Donna L. Scanlon; Children's Libn., Lancaster Area Lib., Lancaster, SOURCE: KLIATT, March 2002 (Vol. 36, No. 2)
Library Journal
There are three criteria for inclusion in this near-comprehensive reference work on a relatively narrow aspect of folklore: the creature cannot be divine, it must be a supernatural being from mythology, legend, folklore, or classic literature, and it may be a cryptozoological or symbolic being, such as a heraldic beast. Although various other sources treat giants, monsters, and mystery animals, none seems to cover them all at once, and this work's inclusion of the symbolic element appears to be unique. Entries give basic descriptions of each creature as well as its activities, region, culture, and historical period, and each entry is both cross-referenced and referenced to a selected bibliography. Appendixes categorize beings under country or region as well as such headings as "Beings Associated with Catastrophe." While works as modern as J.R.R. Tolkien's are cited, the Harry Potter series is not, though several monsters described here are present in J.K. Rowling's books. Perhaps Rose (Spirits, Fairies, Gnomes, and Goblins) does not consider Potter classic literature, but for a current reference work, this may soon prove a serious oversight. Recommended for public and school libraries where similar references are used.--Katherine K. Kaigler-Koenig, Ellis Sch., Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874369885
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/13/2000
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Entries ix
Introduction xxv
Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth 1
Selected Bibliography 413
Appendixes 417
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