HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Deltora Book of Monsters: by Josef
Author: Emily Rodda
Illustrator: Marc McBride
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks, republished in 2002
ISBN-13: 978-0613506007 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0613506006 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0439390842 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0439390842 (Paperback)
Related website: http://www.scholastic.com/deltoraquest
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Age Range: 9 and up
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Rodda, Emily. The Deltora Book of Monsters: by Josef (published in 2001 by Scholastic Australia, P. O. Box 579, LIndfield, NSW, Australia 2070). Both of our boys have enjoyed reading fiction books about dragons, and we have quite a few, including those by Bryan Davis, Donita K. Paul, and Dave Marks, among others. However, we have never read the “Deltora” series of books written by Australian author Jennifer Rowe, under the pen name Emily Rodda. There are actually three sets of them: the Deltora Quest Series of eight books (The Forests of Silence, The Lake of Tears, City of the Rats, The Shifting Sands, Dread Mountain, Maze of the Beast, The Valley of the Lost, and Return to Del); the Deltora Shadowlands Series of three books (Cavern of the Fear, The Isle of Illusion, and The Shadowlands); and the Dragons of Deltora Series of four books (Dragons Nest, Shadowgate, Isle of the Dead, and The Sister of the South); plus some add-on books like Tales of Deltora and Secrets of Deltora.
They follow the adventures of three companions as they journey across the fictitious land of Deltora, endeavoring to recover the magical Belt of Deltora and defeat allies of the evil Shadow Lord. Though we have not read them, they have been recommended by friends. The Deltora Book of Monsters is another bonus book. It is purportedly written by Josef, the palace librarian of the kingdom of Deltora. He had been ordered by Prandine, chief advisor to King Alton, to destroy The Deltora Annals but through a ruse was able to escape with them and go into hiding. The foreword gives a short history of Deltora, telling how the great leader Adin drove the Shadow Lord’s hordes back across the mountains and formed the seven tribes into a united Deltora. Apparently Prandine and Alton are afraid to let the Deltoran people know their true history.
The rest of the book is a fantastical look at the world of Deltora with descriptions of the different Deltoran creatures identified throughout the series and exquisite four-color drawings of the creatures by illustrator Marc McBride. Our younger son Jeremy, who likes reading about monsters, saw it in a discount bookstore and asked to buy it. I suspect that it might have made a little more sense if we had read the Deltora books first, but for those who have read or are reading them it would be a very helpful companion because it gives information on many of the creatures mentioned in the books, so that the reader can have a better visual of the story, sort of like a field guide. However, parents might want to keep the book away from small or sensitive children, especially those who could be given to bad dreams based upon what they see.