Children's Literature - Kathleen FoucartThe "Monster Chronicles" is a series of reference books about things that go bump in the night. In this book, divided into four sections, readers are introduced to the world of werewolves. The first section gives a basic introduction to the idea of werewolves. The second talks about the mythology surrounding werewolves and how a person might become one. The third section goes into historical werewolves, meaning the witch trial-era werewolf accusations and confessions. The fourth talks about famous werewolves in modern movies, books, and TV shows. The premise for the series is good, as a lot of children are now interested in fantasy/horror and fantastic creatures; nevertheless, the writing style sometimes seems inconsistent. At times the author seems to be saying werewolves are mythological creatures and sometimes it sounds as if they are being presented realistically. While the historical facts should be presented as such, this still might cause confusion for younger children who might pick up the book. Also, the fact that the werewolf confessions were often obtained by torture is only briefly mentioned in a blurb and would be easy to miss if the child was not reading closely. Nevertheless, the woodcuts are well-chosen for illustrating the historical information and are a good introduction to the artwork of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. As with all the "Monster Chronicles" books, there is a bibliography and a list of Web sites included at the end so more research may be conducted if needed.
School Library JournalGr 4–7
Written in a chatty style that draws readers in, these titles attempt to explain the origins of and continuing fascination with the individual monsters. Drawings and movie stills make up the bulk of the illustrations. Frankenstein and Vampires also include brief excerpts from the novels Frankenstein and Dracula . However, since Frankenstein is not the name of the monster in Mary Shelley's book, the references to him as such are erroneous. Although Krensky clarifies this misconception in chapter two, he continues to refer to him in subsequent references as "Frankenstein," which is confusing. There is also a mistake in the description of the plot of Young Frankenstein . Gene Wilder's character is not the son of Victor Frankenstein but his grandson. Vampires is missing several sentences in its description of Buffy the Vampire Slayer . In addition, a caption of George Hamilton as a vampire in Love at First Bite is incorrectly labeled as being from the movie Dracula: Dead and Loving It . Despite some errors, these titles are sure to entice horror fans.
S K JoinerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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