Dr. Wiggins' discoveries of fantastical, mythical creatures all across the globe are accompanied by detailed artwork depicting those creatures. For middle grade readers who love artistic renderings or who love to imagine unusual, mythical creatures might exist somewhere, this premise will be fascinating. Detailed descriptions of the journey to find each creature and the antics of Dr. Wiggins' quirky pet will add some color to an otherwise dry narrative. Perceptive readers will find allegories discussing various modern issues hidden within many of the journal entries.
What Left Me Wanting More:
The lack of traditional story structure would work if there was a villain or some defined conflict facing Dr. Wiggins, but since there isn't, the journal entries begin to feel like much of the same thing the reader has already seen in previous pages, and it becomes difficult to maintain the interest of the average reader. The formal, detailed narrative style adds to this difficulty. I read this book aloud to my middle grade boys. One left the room after just a few minutes. The other remained focused and interested because he loves imagining strange creatures and likes to draw them as well. I believe this book will work for those types of readers, while readers who need conflict and plot may do well to choose a different book.
Though lacking in traditional story structure, this book will fascinate readers drawn to detailed narratives and unusual mythological creatures.