Looking for some suggestions for your holiday gift-giving to add to the book shelves of cryptozoologists-in-training? Trying to come up with colorful presents for those stockings? Here’s some book ideas that are being put out there for kids who are visiting the activities and the current Missouri home of the traveling exhibition that left Bates College only a few weeks ago.
The Kansas City Library’s children’s services are recommending various kid-friendly books to go with the new exhibition at the H & R Artspace, the show that is entitled “Cryptozoology: Out of Time Place Scale.” One section of the traveling exhibition, now in Kansas City, is based on my nonfiction International Cryptozoology Museum, from here in Maine, with artifacts from it.
Historically speaking, it was the initial visits between Mark Bessire, Sean Foley, and myself, with Mark leafing through my book, Cryptozoology A to Z, that stimulated the beginning thoughts of this exhibition. The Artspace’s Raechell Smith was brought in, early, as Mark’s co-curator for the exhibition.
Here’s some of the book suggestions now circulating in KC, in conjunction with the exhibition. Yes, disclaimer-wise, most of them have some tie-ins to me, of course, because the exhibition is linked to my collection. Nevertheless, it is a question I am asked a lot – cz books for kids for the holidays – so I thought you might like to see this list:
1) Let’s begin with my 1999 book on the subject. Chosen for the 2001 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults List by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and American Library Association (ALA), Cryptozoology A to Z is a foundation volume of the exhibition and loved by young and old people. (Parents have told me it was this book that helped their resistant-reader-children begin to enjoy reading real books.)
Cryptozoology A to Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1999)
2) This next new book has descriptions of the cryptids, children’s activities, and profiles of cryptozoologists. It is time for cryptozoology to be seen as the new frontier of learning it is, and Tales of the Cryptids is a book I recommend for kids.
Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist by Kelly Milner Halls, Rick Spears, and Roxyanne Young (Columbus, OH: Darby Creek Publishing, 2006).
3) On the walls of the Artspace exhibition are drawings from two field guides that are very visual, driven by individual eyewitness cases, and purposely easy to read. They are:
The Field Guide of Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates by Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006)
The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep by Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe (NY: Tarcher/Penguin, 2003).
4) This next book gives the only background to the Midwest’s reports of giant birds, especially those seen from the Ozarks up through Missouri to the bluffs of the Mississippi River, into the cornfields of central Illinois. It is a unique book that young people have told me they very much like.
Thunderbirds: America’s Living Legends of Giant Birds (NY: Paraview, 2004)
5) The exhibition, as you may know, has an Australian undercurrent to it, with several exhibits about reports of the Yowie and Thylacine. The following newly published book is very Australian, youth-friendly, and would adds a flavor to anyone’s book list that you won’t find anywhere else.
The Yowie: In Search of Australia’s Bigfoot by Paul Cropper and Tony Healy (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006)
6) The following continued bestseller, especially among people new to the field, is about the world’s currently most popular cryptid, and contains a special subsection on Momo, the Missouri Monster.
Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America (NY: Paraview Pocket/Simon and Schuster, 2003)
7) This biography is a good overview for teens who are looking for a real-life personal story of one adventurer’s involvement in the subject and about his expeditions – especially in search of Yeti.
Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology (Fresno, CA: Craven Street-Linden Press, 2002)