Picks and Pans Review: Encyclopedia of Things That Never Were

updated 02/02/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/02/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Michael Page and Robert Ingpen

The introduction to this attractive volume explains that each of us has "an immense Cosmos within us." That which we call fantasy is the first step toward understanding that inner world of imagination. "As you look into the dream worlds of other men and women they may help you to understand," write the authors. Some of the fantastic creatures and beings they include here, like King Arthur, are based on real people. Others, like the Muses, "the nine beautiful sisters who inspire various types of performing and creative artists," are tools of the poetic imagination. Zeus and Xolotl and Wotan are ways of talking about the world's inexplicable mysteries. The chapter called "Things of the Ground and Underground" includes brownies, cats, dwarfs, elves, satyrs and trolls. "Things of Wonderland" describes such places as Atlantis, Camelot, El Dorado, Lilliput, Utopia and Xanadu. "Things of Magic, Science, and Invention" is about brooms, crystal balls, garlic, rings, wands and similar magic items. The authors have collaborated on other books; Ingpen is the artist. He has provided 300 illustrations for this volume, some of them literal renderings of things better left imagined. (Viking, $ 19.95)

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