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What We’re Loving: Sea Monsters, Children’s Books

September 21, 2012 | by

I spent a recent vacation totally engrossed by Richard Ellis’s Monsters of the Sea. An accomplished marine artist and writer, Ellis examines the great sea monsters of history—from the sea serpent to the Kraken to the mermaid—and explains the sources of the myths (basking shark, giant squid, and manatee, respectively). The book is a combination of lore, history, and scientific inquiry, and a fun and accessible read. Plus, it introduced me to the Journal of Cryptozoology. —Sadie O. Stein

I tripped into a fit of digital nostalgia this week when I discovered Stylist’s compilation of opening lines from classic childrens books. There are even thumbnail covers, and the combination somehow makes the Paris Review office smell like the library I went to when I was a kid. To prevent sentimental overdose, I recommend a mix-and-match game: combine three opening lines and begin your own canonical text for youngsters. “In a hole in the ground it was too wet to play, if you really want to hear about it”; “Once upon a time, a little girl named Laura got the dog drunk on cherry brandy so she was sent to bed without eating anything.” And so on. —Samuel Fox

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