Willoughby’s World of Wonder by Stephen Barnwell

Willoughby’s World of Wonder by Stephen Barnwell
Publisher: Bayne & McKay
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full length (182 pages)
Age Recommendation: 12+
Rating: 5 stars
Review by Honeysuckle
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This is the International Edition of Willoughby’s World of Wonder, a fictional reproduction of the famous 1882 Field Guide to Strange Beasts & Curious Creatures. Willoughby’s, as it was popularly known, was created by noted cryptozoologist and naturalist, Angus Willoughby. For half a century, this unique reference guide was used as a textbook in many universities around the globe, and was considered a primary reference of many cryptozoological societies and organizations. Years of painstaking research and expert restoration have yielded the amazing rebirth of this treasured book, which is as important today as it was when it was originally published.

Ever wonder where the inspiration for some of the fantastical creatures in Percy Jackson, Clash of the Titans, The Hobbit, Harry Potter and many other fantasy series could have come from? Quite possibly, the authors were inspired by the writings of one Mr. Angus Willoughby circa 1882. This updated and illustrated reprint of the book is filled with details of well known folk such the Fey, Faerie, Brownies, Kraken, and Cyclops, as well as creatures that inhabit the night such as Pookas, Bogeyman, and Banshee’s. But there’s so much more. What is a chickfish and a Leocornus and a Mock Lobster?? Readers will see their size, habitat and other intricate details.

This book will appeal to a wide audience. I spied all three of my children, all teenagers, thumbing through this book at various times but it was my husband who really got a kick out of it. Also listed as a Field Guide To Strange Beasts and Curious Creatures, it isn’t hard to see how the clever creatures created by Mr. Willoughby found their way into thousands of fantasy and urban fantasy literature and still inspire authors today as well as their big screen counterparts.

Readers who have creative artists and budding writers in their house would do well to obtain a copy of this book. It’s both entertaining and educational.

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