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Fantasy & Sci-Fi Books for Kids


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Artists Recreate Kid Monster Drawings

Kids have amazing creativity, which is further fleshed out by professional artists as part of The Monster Project. From Greta J. and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“Last year we introduced you to The Monster Project, an awesome initiative that sees professional artists adding their own unique touches to monster doodles created by kids in elementary. Well now we’re bringing you more of their amazing collaborations, and as you can see below, the results are quite spectacular.

Based out of Texas, the purpose of the project is to encourage creativity and provide inspiration for artistic children everywhere. “With a decreasing emphasis on arts in schools, many children don’t have the opportunity for creative exploration they deserve,” reads their website. “That’s a monstrous trend we would like to destroy. As artists ourselves, we understand how important that initial creative exposure is and how it can truly alter the shape of a child’s future. Creativity comes in many forms, and we hope to encourage their exploration of their own unique perceptions of the world we share.”

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project

The Monster Project


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KidLit & Cartoon Characters Turned Into Monsters

From Dennis Carlsson and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda. You’ll never think about Winnie the Pooh the same way again… Now you know why Eeyore is grumpy.

“Take a look at these terrifying pictures to see what we mean, although be warned, they’re pretty damn creepy. They were drawn by Swedish illustrator and tattoo artist Dennis Carlsson, who uses his skills to add a nightmarish twist to traditionally cute and cuddly characters. From Winnie the Pooh, Pikachu, and Totoro, to Monsters Inc and Lilo (well, a piece of Lilo…) and Stitch, Carlsson’s hellish reimaginings are sure to send a shiver up your spine. So watch out the next time you’re out looking for Pokemon…because Pokemon might also be looking for you…”

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons 

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons 

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons

Horror Cartoons


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Monsters plus coffee equals winning!

From J.D. Cotton and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda, for all my caffeine-dependent horror writer friends.

“These scary mugs I make are one of a kind. Working in clay is the best since it combines several different “crafts” – throwing on the pottery wheel, sculpting and the final process, painting. All of which I love to do, especially with my background as an illustrator. After discovering pottery approximately 15 years ago, I’ve been hooked on it.

Originally, I was most inspired by those primitive face jugs that were made down south in the 1800s. My first few face mugs were similar in style which have since evolved into these more detailed pieces.
I sometimes refer to a photo image or whatever pops in my head. I love details and include a lot of it in my work – down to the wrinkles and pores on their faces.”


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Illustrated Versions of Mental Illnesses

There’s nothing funny about mental illness. These monstrous illustrations of mental illnesses by Toby Allen at Bored Panda are remarkable works of art.

“From anxiety to depression to body dismorphic disorder, Toby Allen intended by this artwork particularly to give these intangible mental illnesses some substance and make them appear more manageable as physical entities.

“The project originated from imagining my own anxieties as monsters and finding it to be a cathartic and healing process to draw them,” Allen told The Huffington Post. “It made them feel weaker and I was able to look at my own anxiety in a comical way.”

“It made them feel weaker and I was able to look at my own anxiety in a comical way”

“I hope it helps [people] see their illness in a different light, make it appear more manageable”


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Meet the Monsters – Imps

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Meet the Monsters is a web series providing background on the mythological creatures featured in MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES.

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IMPS

According to German mythology, imps are lesser goblins who often seek humans on whom to commit mischievous, not evil, acts. Imps are described as small, wild and willful; in some cultures they are synonymous with fairies. They are sometimes depicted as unattractive small demons. Although immortal, imps could be harmed with magical weapons or kept out of one’s house with magical wards.

There’s a certain pathos associated with imps, as their mischief is meant to attract human attention and friendship, but typically produces the opposite effect. Even in “successful” situations, the imp remains true to its nature, and continues to play pranks on its human host. Hence the term “impish” is often used today to describe someone who is a trickster or practical joker.

imp01Given their quasi-demonic appearance, some believed that imps were servants of witches and warlocks, sometimes known as familiars. Such familiars, in the form of the all-too-common black cat, black dog, or toad, were considered proof of witchcraft during the era of witch hunts.

imp02Imp legend in some cases associates imps with a container or object. Some imps were kept within a container, like a bottle or lamp. Others were not contained within, but magically bound to an object like a sword or jewel.

Imps appear in the games Forgotten Realms and Dungeons & Dragon, and in the books THE BOTTLE IMP by Robert Louis Stevenson, LIVES OF THE NECROMANCER by William Godwin, THE IMP AND THE CRUST by Leo Tolstoy, The Oz series by L. Frank Baum, MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES and WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY by Henry Herz.

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From Robert Louis Stephenson’s THE BOTTLE IMP by William Hatherell

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Meet the Monsters – Hydras

MtMheader

Meet the Monsters is a web series providing background on the mythological creatures featured in MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES.

mgnr

HYDRAS

According to Greek and Roman mythology, the Hydra of Lerna (aka Lernaean Hydra, or simply Hydra) was a multi-headed snake-like water monster. The Hydra’s counterpart in Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian mythology was a seven-headed serpent. The Hydra’s lair was the spring of Amymone, a cave at Lerna lake in the Argolid region of Greece. The Hydra served as a guard for Lerna lake, which was considered an entrance to Hades’s underworld.

 

hydra02The Hydra was the offspring of the monsters Typhon and Echidna (herself half snake and half woman). These two begat other famous monstrous spawn, including Cerberus (the three-headed dog who guarded the gates of Hades), Chimera (part lion, part goat, and part dragon), the Sphinx (a monster with the body of a winged lion and woman’s head), the Nemean lion, and the Caucasian Eagle (who subsisted on a daily diet of Prometheus’s liver). Imagine the family dinners…

hydra03The seven labors of Hercules began with him slaying the Hydra’s sibling, the Nemean lion. Hercules second labor was to defeat the Hydra. According to legend, Hercules approached the spring of Amymone and fired flaming arrows into the cave. As Hercules cut off heads from the Hydra, he discovered its rather disturbing ability to grow back two heads in place of a severed one. Hercules’s nephew Iolaus suggested using fire to cauterize the Hydra’s neck after each decapitation to prevent regeneration. This gruesome innovation succeeded. Finally, Hercules dipped his arrows in the Hydra’s poisonous blood. He subsequently put those poison arrows to good use fighting the Stymphalian Birds, the giant Geryon, and the centaur Nessus.

hydra04Hydras appear in the movies Jason and the Argonauts and Hercules, the fantasy miniatures game Warhammer, and the books BIBLIOTHECA by Apollodorus, PERCY JACKSON: THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan, and MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES by Henry Herz.

Interestingly, two real-world animals now bear the names of hydra and echidna.


Gustav Moreau’s 19th-century depiction of the Hydra

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Pollaiuolo’s Hercules and the Hydra (c. 1475)

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Caeretan black-figure hydra (c. 346 BC)

 


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Meet the Monsters – Harpies

MtMheader

Meet the Monsters is a web series providing background on the mythological creatures featured in MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES.

mgnr

HARPIES

Today in Meet the Monsters, we’re going to meet harpies. A harpy is a terrifying creature that has the head and body of a woman and the wings and legs of an eagle. Many people know of harpies as death spirits—cruel torturers of those who angered the Greek god Zeus and savage abusers of souls on their way to the underworld. For more than 2,000 years, many have thought of harpies as ugly, old, and nasty. In Dante’s Inferno, harpies even infest the seventh ring of Hell.


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Harpies in the infernal wood, from Inferno XIII, by Gustave Doré, 1861

HarpyReliefBut human-headed birds aren’t always so simple. More than 5,500 years ago, stories began to be told about the Sumerian goddess of war and love, Inanna (who was later also known as Ishtar). She was frequently depicted in carvings as a harpy-like woman with wings. Inanna/Ishtar was a force to be reckoned with; when the goddess visited the underworld, she demanded that the gatekeeper open the door or she would unleash a plague of zombies!

The Burney Relief, which is almost 2,000 years old, shows a figure that may be Inanna/Ishtar.

Some harpies are actually good spirits. A 700 year-old tomb in Turkey is covered with intricate carvings of harpies and other fantastical beasts; the harpies on her tomb were “soul-birds” who would protect against evil while carrying her soul to the underworld. The harpy also appeared as a guardian in Islamic art from across Syria, Egypt, and Muslim Spain. There is even a tale that Alexander the Great sought out a wise harpy to ask for advice!

karyobinga  Kalavinka

Another kindly harpy figure is a Buddhist creature called the kalavinka. It is associated with paradise and music, and is said to sing beautifully. They were frequently featured in the art of the empire of Western Xia, until it was wiped out by the Mongol Empire under Genghis Khan.

So what do you think? If you saw a harpy, would you say “hi?” Or run away screaming?

Harpies appear in THE ARGONAUTICA (Jason and the Argonauts) by Apollonius Rhodius, THE AENEID by Virgil, THE DIVINE COMEDY by Dante, THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare, THE LAST UNICORN by Peter S. Beagle, and MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES by Henry Herz.

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A harpy in Ulisse Aldrovandi’s Monstrorum Historia, Bologna, 1642

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Greater coat of arms of the city of Nuremberg, Germany