Description from GoodReads:
Could Dr. Frankenstein's machine ever animate a body? Why should vampires drink from veins and not arteries? What body parts are best for zombies to eat? (It's not brains.) This fascinating encyclopedia of monsters delves into the history and science behind eight legendary creatures, from Bigfoot and the kraken to zombies and more. Find out each monster's origin story and the real-world history that informed it, and then explore the science of each creature in fun and surprising ways. Tips and infographics--including monster anatomy, how to survive a vampire attack, and real-life giant creatures of the deep sea--make this a highly visual and fun-to-browse book.
Thoughts on this book:
For the past few weeks, I have shared several amazing nonfiction books that either recently came out or will be coming out in a couple of weeks. And today, I have another book that I just loved. Every once in awhile I come across a book that my 10 year old self would have really loved and Carlyn Beccia’s newest book Monstrous: The Lore, Gore and Science Behind Your Favorite Monsters is definitely one of those books.
In MONSTROUS, Beccia looks at the history and science behind some of the most iconic monsters - Frankenstein, Dracula, zombies, King Kong, werewolves, the Kracken, Big Foot, and Godzilla. Readers will learn about the history of each of these creatures and how the science of the time as well as what we know today can explain different aspects of each one. I loved learning about early experiments with electricity, or genetic research that has led to glow-in-the dark pigs, or whether veins or arteries are better for a vampire to draw blood. I also learned that Los Angeles is in the top ten cities where you are most likely to be eaten by a zombie (Turn to page 47 of the book to learn about the criteria). I guess my earthquake kit can double as a Zombie Preparedness Kit.
Beccia’s attention to detail extends beyond her text to her illustrations. It all works together as a complete package. When I read a book like this, I am in awe of all the decisions that need to be made. What do you keep? What must be scrapped? How do you lay it out in a way that makes sense and provides the reader with a coherent and enjoyable experience. Beccia and her editor and art director did an amazing job with all those decisions.
The book concludes with source notes, selected biography, glossary, and index. I also appreciated Beccia’s note at the end acknowledging that “science can give us answers to our most puzzling questions, but it has the right to change those answers at any time”.
Pick up a copy of MONSTROUS at your local indie bookstore or check it out at your community library.
Don’t forget to link up your nonfiction reviews…