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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
And A Book: The Inhabitants of Myth is a fantasy story for children written and illustrated by Michael Molinet. The author of this book suggests you have a piece of cake and a glass of milk when opening up and reading his text which revolves around mythological creatures. He does caution you to be careful with crumbs and errant splashes of milk, however, as you turn each page. Unicorns are apt to get extremely riled up at the sight of a crumbly mess, at least the unicorn gracing the first page of this book does. And the dragon on the second page might lose the ability to breathe fire if that milk gets too splashy.
Michael Molinet takes the reader on a grand tour through fantasy and mythology. Each page introduces a new creature and shows you the reaction and interaction of the young reader in the story with the new visitor. Some are more widely known, such as the dwarves and faeries, while others may be new to a young reader, like the golem and Leviathan. All are magically made real in this remarkable book that offers young readers tantalizing bits of fantasy in the hopes they’ll go out and look for more. To help them, Molinet includes a section titled “A Word on Words,” which goes into greater depth on each of the mythological creatures. He also introduces Tessellations to new readers, which are “repeating pattern(s) of shapes or images.” As one might expect, the tessellations adorning the unicorn’s page contain repeating images of a unicorn. Each page has its own tessellations. Some are obvious; others take a bit of imagination.
I had a grand time reading And A Book: The Inhabitants of Myth which is uniquely suited for reading aloud, even if no one is there in the room with you -- though maybe there’s a faerie or leprechaun lurking about who might be listening, one never knows. Michael Molinet’s illustrations are masterful, brilliantly colored, and present infinitely satisfying contrasts between the realistic image of the young boy reading the book and the pages bringing myth, legend, and fantasy to life. I can’t really think of a better candidate for a bedtime story as each page is filled with mystery and promise. It’s also perfectly suited for a somewhat more advanced young reader. And A Book: The Inhabitants of Myth is most highly recommended.