Victor Rivas, Illustrator
Little Bee, 2017 121 pages
Established children's non-fiction author, Erin Peabody, explores the legend of Scotland's most famous creature. After a brief background of the history of Nessie and the world's fascination with this creature, Peabody goes onto define what a "cryptid" (a mysterious creature undocumented by scientists, but seen by witnesses) is and describes other such crypids from both Scotland and other lands. Next the book further delves into the world's fascination with the Loch Ness Monster and some of the various sightings over the years. Unfortunately, many of the sightings have been revealed as hoaxes and the reader is shown how the tricksters pulled them off. Many scientists have tried to prove Nessie's existence to no avail and the reasons why they have been unsuccessful are explored. Is the Loch Ness Monster real or simply a byproduct of the soupy Scotland landscape and a figment of over-imaginations? It is left to the readers to decide. Sources, both print and on-line, are offered at the end of the book for further research, should the reader want to explore more.
Children (and adults) have always been interested in mysterious creatures that maybe exist and are deliciously creepy. This new series delves into some of these cryptids including Bigfoot, dragons, unicorns, werewolves, and zombies. The reading level is low, the print is large, chapters are short, and interest is high, making this a perfect choice for emerging and reluctant readers. Appropriate for advanced young readers, yet sophisticated enough for low older readers, this series proves to be very versatile. Cartoon-like black and white illustrations are included on every page and further welcome the target audience. Historic and scientific information is given and readers are left to decide for themselves if Nessie really exists. Whatever the answer, it doesn't matter. The monster is cool and the history behind the sightings and elaborate hoaxes is in itself fascinating. Kids will certainly want to know more and will eagerly search out the other books in the series. I bought the first two for my library and they are never on the shelf, so I will be purchasing the rest. My only complaint is that I don't love the covers, but they aren't deterring readers so maybe it’s just me. Excellent high/low offerings on a tried and true subject wonderfully packaged and executed to reach the target audience.