A Miscellany of MAGICAL BEASTS by Simon Holland – Book Review

A Miscellany of MAGICAL BEASTS by Simon Holland. Illustration contributions by Gary Blithe – David Demaret – Nelson Evergreen – John Howe – Mike Love – Kev Walker – Helen Ward – David Wyatt

ISBN 978-1-4088-8195-8

Published by Bloomsbury in Hardcover –

Release date 20 October 2016

RRP £14.99

A Children’s Picture Book (Hardback)

cover-illustration-by-john-howe
Cover Illustration by John Howe

Overview: This recently released children’s title from Bloomsbury is an authentic collection of mystical beasts from fairy tale worlds, ancient myths, and magical storybook greats. Simon Holland (the author) introduces (in chapters) a creature each time. His passion for the subject is infectious and the information he shares is well researched, paragraphs are not too word laden. The art contributions show fantastical creatures, and their surrounds, using a variety of illustrative styles. There are Giants and Trolls, Unicorns, Griffins and Werewolves. There’s Pegasus (from the Greek myths) and Dragons of course. 20 creatures altogether, plus a page of Elvish spells and tricks and another of Magical Words. The mechanics of the book’s presentation include fold-out pieces which achieves the dimensions of that of a small poster, some die-cutting techniques and exceptional finish to the pages and the cover

artwork-gary-blythe-for-a-miscellany-of-magical-beasts
Artwork by Gary Blythe for the Bloomsbury children’s title A Miscellany of Magical Beasts

Comment and Guide: the author really does beckon a reader away from the hand held or the tablet into an enchanted world in book format. This title has such lovely aesthetic qualities. One great shame however, is due to the composition of the artwork is that the key subject is often centered in the middle frame, so when this happens across the double page spreads the book’s seam disjoints the view and you kind of have to look at the creature in two halves rather than being able to enjoy it in full. Just a small criticism really because this is a lovely keepsake book for a fantasy enthusiast of any age

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