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|Fearsome creatures of the lumberwoods : 20 chilling tales from the wilderness|
Author: Johnson, Hal
Ttwenty bone-chilling tales about the most dangerous fantastical beasts in American folklore. Meet the Snoligoster, who feeds on the shadows of its victims. The Hodag, like a spiny-backed bull-horned rhinoceros. The Hoop Snake, which can chase prey at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and then, with one sting of its tail, cause it to turn purple, swell up, and die.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 7.70
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 185597
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 Gr 5–7—Look out for what's lurking around every corner. The book is told from the perspective of a cryptozoologist who focuses on the lumberwoods of North America and who recounts many painful and horrifying incidents he witnessed during his years of seeking the most bizarre creatures. He begins with the very dangerous hodag, a rhinoceros critter with a bull horn and a spiny back. Things don't go well when traveling shysters set up a tent claiming to have captured the fierce hodag. Instead, they regale paying customers with sinister hodag tales and play a recorded hodag sound. Eventually, the real thing ruins their scheme with disastrous consequences. Tales of other creatures, such as the leprocaun, not only deliver vile results but also eerily tickle the funny bone. Another creature featured here is the cactus cat, related to beavers because he was once cornered by a wolverine and forced to run up a tree for safety. Also referred to as a wampus cat, he now has a spiked ball at the end of his tail, which he uses to slash unsuspecting victims who don't realize they are riddled with holes until they eat a meal and it pours out of multiple openings in their bellies. These tales demand to be savored in all their weirdness and gore. The tongue-in-cheek humor will keep readers engaged. Touted as examples of beasts from American folklore, each feral varmint is elaborately illustrated in black and white. The book concludes with a quick go-to guide of fearsome facts to aid in identifying any of these creatures that readers may meet in the wild. A captivating collection for fans of Alvin Schwartz's Scary Tales to Tell in the Dark, this is also ideal for those looking for something fresh, creative, and deliciously creepy. VERDICT Outstanding faux-lore creature tales that will blow away middle school readers.—Julie Shatterly, W. A. Bess Elementary School, Gastonia, NC - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/15/2015 *Starred Review* What would you do if you came across a hodag, “three thousand pounds of pure carnivorous appetite”? Or perhaps the shadow-eating snoligoster that first impales its victims on its large dorsal spike? These are but 2 of the 20 fearsome creatures in Johnson’s gleefully spine-chilling tales, told as a cryptozoologist’s firsthand account of beastly encounters in the North American Lumberwoods. They are also the stuff of nightmares and urban legends. Well, sort of. Johnson steers clear of abject terror by weaving a thread of humor throughout, evidenced in the narrator’s editorializing, including his apparent dislike of Frenchmen, and pronouncements such as “The most fearsome creature, dear reader, is unpreparedness. It is for this reason that I award the toteroad shagamaw second place.” Mead’s black-and-white illustrations are horrible in the best sense, ramping up each tale’s tension and fear factor to levels of delightful squirming. This reimagining of William T. Cox’s Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods (1913) strikes a similar chord to Alvin Schwartz’s classic Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (1981), and it is particularly well-suited to flashlight reading—though its glow-in-the-dark cover continues to menace even when the lights are out. Yes, people meet ghastly ends, and the creatures are inescapably dreadful, but isn’t that exactly what young, literary thrill-seekers are after? Wildly imaginative and delightfully macabre. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.