From the steaming jungles of the Amazon, to the ice-bound Arctic, the Sonora Desert, and the dark forests of the Appalachian Mountains—North, Central, and South America have their own unique varieties of vampires and shape-shifting man-beasts. A rich tradition of frightening myths and ghastly folk tales going back centuries before the Europeans came to the New World, blending with the folklore of newer immigrants, and rising like an eerie mist from the fertile mix of American cultures, our part of the world has ...
From the steaming jungles of the Amazon, to the ice-bound Arctic, the Sonora Desert, and the dark forests of the Appalachian Mountains—North, Central, and South America have their own unique varieties of vampires and shape-shifting man-beasts. A rich tradition of frightening myths and ghastly folk tales going back centuries before the Europeans came to the New World, blending with the folklore of newer immigrants, and rising like an eerie mist from the fertile mix of American cultures, our part of the world has no shortage of blood-drinking monsters and werewolves. Native Americans told tales of night-stalking corpses rising from their graves, the Ancient Aztecs with their blood-soaked cosmology left a legacy of terror tales to modern Mexico, and the howling of wolves (or is it the loup garou?) still pierces the bitter Quebec night.
This slim nine-volume set introduces readers to vampire and werewolf legends from around the world. The series includes historical accounts, modern takes, tales from other cultures, and even how to recognize and defend oneself. Illustrations are predictably gruesome and bloody. The artwork features numerous benign monochromatic drawings that have been splattered with red paint, accompanied by additional illustrations that range from silly to creepy. Howling at the Moon: Vampires & Werewolves in the New World offers text that may appeal to teen readers, even if it is limited. Four chapters address legends of vampires and werewolves in Latin America, monsters in the United States and Canada, ancient and modern myths in Mexico and Central America, and legends of the Caribbean and South America. This book is notable because it offers compelling details without succumbing too much to melodrama. The author provides a satisfying balance between legend and science, offering possible explanations for some of the stories (porphyria, rabies, and tuberculosis, for example). Myths include Navajo skinwalkers, Algonquin wendigos, Seminole stikini, the Aztec Cihuacoatl, the Mayan Camazotz, the Haitian Loogaroo, Trinidad's sukuyans, West Africa's Asanbosam, and the Argentinian Lobizon. This is the only book in this mediocre series that warrants consideration for purchase, but only in cases where younger readers are seeking a short, high-interest book on the subject. (The Making of a Monster: Vampires and Werewolves) Reviewer: Christina Fairman
- Nicole Davis
When most people talk about vampires and werewolves, they generally refer to the ones in Europe—the vampires in Transylvania, or the werewolves in London. But, on the other side of the world, similar legends also existed. Some of them started before Europeans arrived, and others were brought from Europe and modified once they reached the New World. This attention-grabbing book is full of possible explanations and legends. Many of the pictures in the book are dark—after all, it is a book about vampires and werewolves. Even the borders surrounding the text are dark—black and foggy, with the words almost going into the blackness. This is only one book in a series of books about vampires and werewolves that attempt to explain the paranoia behind the legends of these creatures. Since vampires and werewolves are a popular topic right now, this book can be used in the classroom, the library, or for informational reading. This book is well researched, and can also be used as a source for research papers and presentations. The legends from Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America are all included in this book. The back of the book contains a glossary of unfamiliar words, safe websites to find more information online, and an index to more easily help a young person understand and learn more information. Part of the "Making of a Monster" series. Reviewer: Nicole Davis