Mythic Creatures Booklist: High School & Adult
The Book of Fabulous Beasts: A Treasury of Writings from Ancient Times to the Present
By Joseph Nigg
This collection of Western writings about fantastic creatures includes excerpts from the Bible, Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Milton, and others. Arranged chronologically to follow classical, medieval, Renaissance, and modern periods of Western history.
Oxford University Press, 1999. ISBN: 0195095618
Dragons: A Natural History
By Karl P. N. Shuker
Lavish illustrations and photography of ancient art and artifacts make this an accessible “field guide” for adults and teenagers alike. Discusses five major classes of dragons and other mythic creatures.
Simon & Schuster, 1995. ISBN: 0684814439
The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times.
By Adrienne Mayor
Science historian Adrienne Mayor explores the natural history origins of mythic giants, griffins, and dragons from paleontological finds in the Mediterranean.
Princeton University Press, 2001. ISBN: 0691089779
Guide to the Imaginary Birds of the World
By Joe Nigg
Nigg re-crafts traditional “big bird” stories from all over the world in a riff on the nature guide format—but with woodcuts instead of photography. Roger Tory Peterson, the originator of Peterson Field Guides, offers the introduction.
Apple-wood Books, 1984. ISBN: 0918222559
Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales: A Selection
By Hans Christian Andersen, Naomi Lewis (Introduction)
Twenty-six of Andersen’s original tales, including The Little Mermaid, as translated by Naomi Lewis.
Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN: 0192835076
Monsters: Evil Beings, Mythical Creatures, and All Manner of Imaginary Terrors
By David D. Gilmore
A thoughtful, in-depth, scholarly study of the fantastic creatures that abound in myth, legend, and folklore around the world.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002. ISBN: 0812237021
Monsters of the Sea
By Richard Ellis
Turn to Richard Ellis’s exhaustively researched book for a mix of myths, natural history, art, and literature about the kraken, mermaids, the Loch Ness monster, Leviathan, and many more monstrous water creatures—some real, some not. Includes original-source art and first-hand accounts of sea monster encounters. Ellis is a biologist, marine painter, and a co-curator of the exhibition.
Knopf, 1994. ISBN: 0679406395
Origins of Story: On Writing for Children
By Barbara Harrison & Gregory Maguire
Seventeen essays by Maurice Sendak, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L'Engle, and others that explore using myth as metaphor and other processes of creative writing.
Margaret K. McElderry, 1999. ISBN : 0689826044
Wonder Beasts: Tales and Lore of the Phoenix, the Griffin, the Unicorn, and the Dragon
By Joe Nigg
Full of stories from early explorers, travelers, and scholars all over the world, this compendium of wonderful beasts makes for an interesting read of “primary sources.” Includes engravings and other illustrations.
Libraries Unlimited, 1995. ISBN: 156308242X
Beowulf, Seamus Heaney
The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights)
The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings series, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Odyssey, Homer (Robert Fagles translation)
The Travels of Marco Polo
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