Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dragon World: A Pop-Up Guide to these Scaled Beasts

Dragon World: A Pop-Up Guide to these Scaled Beasts

Keith Moseley, Milivoj Ceran, Skip Skwarek
Novelty Book
For ages 12 and up
Abrams, 2007   ISBN: 978-0810994560

There can be do doubt that dragons fascinate us. Wherever we live, there are sure to be stories of dragons of some kind be they amphipteres, firedrakes, lindworms, wyrms, wyverns, or any of the other forms that dragons come in. Because we find them so interesting, we are always wanting to know more about these fabulous creatures and if you are a true student of the dragon you will find this book very useful indeed.

The authors begin by taking a look at the basic appearance and qualities of dragons. How big did dragons get? Most were quite large and certainly large enough to be very intimidating to the average sized human. They could also blast one with fiery or freezing breath and had a terrifying arsenal of fangs, claws, barbs, and stingers. Most dragons hatched out of eggs and the first pop-up in the book is of a life-sized Western dragon egg. Open it and you will find a Western dragon hatchling inside.

Next we look at European dragons. There are several kinds of dragons which lived in Europe including the serpentine lindworms and wyrms, and the more upright Western dragons and wyverns, both of which had wings. Most of these species could breathe fire and all had poisonous blood.

Eastern dragons follow, with their long graceful bodies and their usually kind and generous temperaments. Able to change their form and often very wise and clever, these dragons were revered in their native China, Japan and Korea. At the center of the page dragon aficionados will find a magnificent pop-up example of a Chinese yellow horned dragon. Note the Peal of Wisdom in its right claw.

The next dragon type to be studied is the amphiptere, a winged variety of dragon which had either scales or feathers on its body, and which had no legs. This flying serpent was often shy and on the whole stayed away from humans. Amphipteres are mentioned in the mythology of the Ancient Egyptians and the Mayans.

And finally the author discusses the fact that fossil remains of dragons have been found in secret locations around the world. The pop-up on the last page shows the skeleton of a Western dragon, a skeleton which has recently come to light and which might teach us a great deal about these marvelous creatures.

This delightful book is a must for all dragon students and fans. Full of interesting information, wonderful artwork, and terrific pop-ups, it is a joy to read and to look at.

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