Children’s Book Review: Mythopedia: An Encyclopedia of Mythical Beasts and Their Magical Tales by Good Wives and Warriors

The cover of Mythopedia by Good Wives and Warriors with mythical creatures in bright colours around the title in a white diamond shape.

As a kid I would sit on my own during lunch break and read mythological encyclopedias so when Laurence King Publishing offered us a review copy of Mythopedia, I leapt at the chance. I confess that we have a few of these types of books at home already because Little M loves fantasy too, but we knew this one was extra-special. I mean, just look at the cover! And the content is equally as beautiful. It really is an heirloom book and we’ve shared a few examples of its loveliness in this review.


From the West African fable of Anansi the Spider, to Michabo, the magical hare who rebuilt the world and Tanuki, the sweet but troublesome racoon-dog of Japanese folklore, Mythopedia is an encyclopedia of mythical creatures that covers legends, tales and myths from around the world.

Lovingly created by the illustration duo behind popular flipbook Myth Match, Good Wives and Warriors, this book contains pages upon pages of cultural folklore from around the world.

Let these weird and wonderful creatures spark your child’s imagination for their own storytelling and drawing while teaching them about international cultures.

Strange Creatures

Have you heard of a Zilant, a Mapinguari or a Fenghuang? We hadn’t so it was brilliant to find out more about lesser-known mythological creatures from around the world. Even better, to be able to read more detailed stories about some of them on the double-page spreads that are placed throughout the book. Mythopedia strikes a lovely balance between words and pictures – making this accessible for a wide age range. Kids can either read this alone or it can be enjoyed as a bedtime read.

There were our favourite creatures in the book (do you know what they are?):

  • Little M: Bastet
  • Mel: Qilin
  • Al: Shenlong

Magical Design

I actually think I held my breath when I first saw the cover of Mythopedia. It’s one of those pieces of art you just want to keep looking at. The book was designed by Good Wives and Warriors (the creative partnership of Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell) and every single page contains magic. Painted in vibrant watercolours, the images almost come to life when you look at them.

The blend of different layouts works brilliantly too. Maps, stories and information pages interweave to create an enchanting fictional vision of our planet. Kudos to Laurence King for sparing no expense on the production standards – the quality is fantastic.

A World View

Mythopedia is structured via continent so the book helps 8-12 year-olds to get an idea of cultural geography and storytelling. By introducing kids to world myth, it also encourages discussion about real-life landscapes and creatures. Little M had lots of questions about the stories and the new concepts have really sparked her imagination. We’re expecting to see some of her own mythical creations very soon!

As illustrated books go, I can easily say that Mythopedia is one of the most gorgeous on our bookshelves and is of of the rare few worthy of a full cover display. Whether you’re a fan of myth and legend yourself, or are searching for a timeless gift for a young person, then this title deserves a closer look.

We were offered a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Format: Hardback
  • 128 pages
  • ISBN : 9781786276902
  • Publisher : Laurence King Publishing Ltd
  • Age: 8+

Buy Mythopedia : An Encyclopedia of Mythical Beasts and Their Magical Tales by Good Wives and Warriors | Laurence King

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    • thebookfamilyrogerson
      October 1, 2020 / 8:34 am

      The design is absolutely gorgeous!

    • thebookfamilyrogerson
      September 30, 2020 / 5:46 pm

      It is eye-poppingly good!

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