Gr 4-6-A flashy format, bright covers, and heaps of quirky photos compel readers to investigate these titles. Monsters dips into and dashes through centuries of folklore and tall tales, presenting real animals (e.g., Komodo dragons, dinosaurs, and giant squid), as well as mythical creatures like dragons, vampires, and Bigfoot. The text is brief and offers little scientific information. Signs covers a surprisingly broad range of topics, from crop circles to Easter Island Moai to pyramids. Human-built mounds, stone circles, meteor craters, and Mars mysteries are also discussed. Of the three volumes, Urban Myths is the most balanced with small symbols for "True," "False," and "Who knows?" attached to each entry. The staged photographs provide a bit of humor. The image of a seeping raw steak on a bald man's head that illustrates a story about a shoplifter is one of many examples that will appeal to readers' sense of grossness. Each volume includes numerous photos and ends with a section of strategies for searching the Internet effectively as well as a definition and example of a search engine and a search directory. The titles in Jacqueline Laks Gorman's "X Science" series (Gareth Stevens) focus on narrower topics. Packaged to appeal, Townsend's books provide plenty of entertainment and a dollop of substance to intrigue young minds.-Ann G. Brouse, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.