Questionable Creatures
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More About This Title Questionable Creatures


Bestiaries are the most gloriously entertaining books to have come from the Middle Ages. Written and illuminated by monks, they describe every creature thought to exist in the medieval world and include all manner of fish, fowl, and mythological beast, however far-fetched.

Pauline Baynes, whose original line illustrations for J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are known to millions, has revived twenty medieval and mischievous beasts, basing her tongue-in-cheek descriptions on various English bestiaries. Her delightful recreations of these fabulous beasts -- from phoenix to manticore, from bonnacon to yale -- hop, swoop, and gallop through the pages in antique splendor and will charm today's readers as readily as they astounded audiences centuries ago.


Pauline Baynes (1922–2008) drew the original lineillustrations for J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of theRings and C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and theWardrobe. Her portrayals of Middle-earth and Narniahelped transform the books into towering classics which, in2000, were voted Book of the Millennium and Children's Bookof the Millennium respectively by the Library Associationin Great Britain. A Kate Greenaway Medal-winner for theDictionary of Chivalry, she also illustrated ThePuffin Book of Nursery Rhymes.


School Library Journal
"This book will be a coveted resource for mythology buffs who loved Ernest Drake's Dragonology."

Kirkus Reviews
"This menagerie will provide a rousing, if somewhat more narrowly focused, alternative to Jonathan Hunt's Bestiary, as well as a springboard for young imaginations."

"Baynes captures the worldview of medieval illuminists in handsome illustrations reflecting her distinctive expressions of form and movement. Eye-catching and engaging."

Horn Book Magazine
"A fascinating glimpse of how our illiterate ancestors accumulated and thought about information — and misinformation. . . . Bayne's agile calligraphic line, swirling compositions, and lustrous colors nicely recall their medieval forebears."