Bestiary by Jonathan Hunt
An Illuminated Alphabet of Medieval Beasts

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Black Dog stalks travelers on the moors, and just hearing its footsteps can kill. A single glance from a basilisk is fatal. Wyverns -- two-legged dragons with wings -- attack castles and villages from the air.

Hundreds of years ago, medieval scholars believed the world was filled with strange and terrifying creatures. They wrote about them in bestiaries -- collections of facts, myths, and stories about animals. Here are twenty-six creatures from those medieval legends, from the two-headed amphisbaena to the fierce ziphius, a water-owl that preys on ships and sailors. Detailed, dramatic paintings based on illuminated manuscripts will transport you to the Middle Ages -- when much of the world was still unknown and mysterious terrors haunted the night.


About Jonathan Hunt

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Jonathan Hunt lives in Boca Raton, Florida, with his wife, the illustrator Lisa Hunt. He has illustrated over ten books for children.
Published October 1, 1998 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. 48 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In this companion to Hunt’s Illuminations, fearful horrors mix with benevolent beasts, populating an alphabet book that should provide many hours of discovery.

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The New York Times

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These include not only the cryptozoological all-stars — basilisk, chimera, sphinx — but lesser-known creatures like the baku, which feeds on nightmares, and the mermecolion, part lion, part ant, “so fantastical that, by definition, it cannot survive.” (The peryton also makes an appearance, in a n...

Aug 05 2007 | Read Full Review of Bestiary: An Illuminated Alph...

Publishers Weekly

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Hunt casts even usually benign creatures in a shadowy light: the Black Dog of Ireland and Scotland had dreadful powers (""Those who heard its footfalls or gazed into its eyes were struck dumb with fear and soon withered away and died"") and two species of unicorns, from Persian lore, include one ...

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