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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Capsule Reviews for books about Vampires, and other Mythical Creatures (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

It appears a lot of field guide like books have hit the shelves in recent months. Whether it's a book on vampires, werewolves or other such odd creatures. Some of the guide books can have the greatest pictures drawn by some of the greatest illustrators and some guide books can completely miss what is being offered.

This capsule review will cover 2 guidebooks: A Practical Guide to Vampires by Lisa Trutkoff Trumbauer and An Illustraded Guide to Mythical Creatures Illustrations by David West and Text by Anita Ganeri. The third book in the capsule review is a fun little vampire book called The Vampire is Just Not That Into You by Vlad Mezrich.


A Practical Guide to Vampires by Lisa Trutkoff Trumbauer

The title of this book is pretty self explanatory, it's a guide for vampire lovers. While it may sound similar to another guide that I reviewed last week, this guide is geared more for children. With so many books and movies out there about vampires it's hard to keep kids away. A Practical Guide to Vampires is a great way to encourage children to keep loving vampires and learn more without having anything overly violent or "bad" in their reading.

The first thing that stands out in this book is the pictures and artistry of all the illustrations. Everything is very colorful and detailed. There are maps to a vampire hideout, an illustration of the anatomy of a vampire, and pictures of how a vampire may dress. These are just some of the examples of what readers will find inside and when it comes down to it the pictures are what makes this book.

On the guide front, there isn't much in here that vampire lovers won't already know, which is why I would say it's great for kids. The information provided covered anything anyone could want to know about vampires but presents it in a fun way.

For any fan of vampires or for younger readers this book makes for a great addition to the collection of books.


An Illustrated Guide to Mythical Creatures Illustrations by David West Text by Anita Ganeri

An Illustrated Guide to Mythical Creatures is one of the first guide books that I've come across that uses 3D computer generated art to illustrate the book. The majority of guide books that I've seen have used hand drawn pictures, using the computer imaging is a unique take on the creatures.

While I found the information in this guide book to be pretty universal in how it described creatures such as Shape-shifters, Trolls,
Ogres, Giants and some of the other creatures. It was the illustrations that really changed the book.

Some of the illustrations seemed to work as a 3d computer generated art work, such as when a creature was standing alone on the page and really had no huge picture. However I was a little disappointed in the huge
drawings that were presented in the book. Maybe it was just my misunderstanding of computer animated art, but some of the pictures came across as just not working out right. The picture I had in my head of these mystical creatures was captured but some of the pictures just seemed too computer-like for my taste, as some of the pictures appeared blocky and not to be natural.

While this guide book makes a great companion reading to anyone interested in looking further into these creatures, it might not be for everyone. The use of computer imaging brought a
uniqueness to the book but at the same time it might be the draw back to some readers.


The Vampire is Just Not That Into You by Vlad Mezrich

What would it be like to date a vampire? This book pretty much covers anything you'd need to know if you were to have the luck (or misfortune) to find yourself dating a vampire.

This little book is packed filled with fun informational dating how to's. From how to deal with dating a much older man (as we know vampires can live hundreds of years), what a vampire might look for in a girl, and how to decode a vampires dating profile online.

Inside this "dating" book are graphs, and quizzes into how to know if that vampire is the special someone. It's almost like a teen girls Cosmo for vampire dating.

I loved this book, in a quirky fun loving way. When I was a teen I loved little books like this that were out of the ordinary. However vampires weren't popular when I was in high school, so sadly nothing like this crossed my path. Although many years later I loved going through and taking some of quizzes and seeing what the results were.

The drawback to this book is that it is very much a modern day book, in that in 5 years it might be out of date. It contains a lot of information on texting, emailing, and profile reading. As technology changes this book may be out of date, although it's fun to read in the present day.

The Vampire is Just Not That Into is one of those fun little books that readers alike can just take and have fun with.



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