cover image The Book of Beasts

The Book of Beasts

Edith Nesbit. Candlewick Press (MA), $16.99 (64pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-1579-6

Abridged and illustrated by Inga Moore, E. Nesbit's The Book of Beasts, originally published in 1900, makes a handsome picture-book edition. A boy king, fascinated by the Palace library, unwittingly unlocks a magical world lying dormant between the covers of a book. But in the process, he also releases a fire-breathing Red Dragon. Rendered in ink, oil pastels and oil paint, Moore's stunning illustrations spill over with a humor that also pervades in the text (e.g., ""Master Lionel, dear, they've come to fetch you to go and be king,"" reads Nurse's thought bubble on the first page). ( Nov.)