Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Rest of Baleful Beasts and Eerie Creatures

After previously posting about my individual favorite stories from Baleful Beasts and Eerie Creatures (The Patchwork Monkey and Nightmare In A Box), I thought it was time to share the rest of the artwork and contents of this scary kids book. (All illustations by Rod Ruth.)

THE YAMADAN by Lynne Gessner

Two boys camping with their father must contend with The Yamadan, a native American legend with the power to transform anyone who sees it into a monster just like it.

The Yamadan, and the boy in its grip, who is slowly tranforming into one himself.

MONSTER BLOOD by Charles Land

A 12-year old boy who is obsessed with monsters volunteers to be assistant to a scientist whose speciality is an extinct monster called a Basilisk. The Basilisk, as described here, is a large beast that is part chicken, part snake, with an evil-eye that kills any living thing that looks upon it, including itself.

This boy is wearing specially crafted glasses that protect him from the Basilisk's deadly gaze.

The professor brings a Basilisk to life using a potion made partially from the boy's blood, hence the title "Monster Blood".

TIGGER by A.M. Lightner

Tigger is the name of the sentient cat that serves as scout and guard, of sorts, for a team of astronauts exploring an alien world somewhere in the future.

Tigger's the one on the left, a super-evolved descendent of the modern housecat. The story is told first-person, from his perspective.

Tigger and his human partner Ellie encounter a fearsome alien while searching for plantlife.


In this surreal story, Nancy, a woman living at an American research camp in Guyana, accompanies an Akawai Indian shaman into the forest to visit her tribe. She encounters several monsters, including the large bird pictured, which carries her off and drops her into a forest of tree-like ghouls.

Later Nancy is attacked by a huge anaconda. Her shaman friend transforms into a jaguar to do battle.

This picture is assembled from the inside front and back covers.

THE NIGHT CREATURE by Richard R. Smith

In the second science-fiction story in this collection, a scientist lets his 12-year old nephew in on a secret device he's developed that enables levitation. They both take it for a test ride in the night sky, only to be attacked by a mysterious octopus-like flying "night creature."

Luckily the scientist also developed a laser-like weapon to defend themselves.

TO FACE A MONSTER by Carl Henry Rathjen

A boy with with an inferiority complex due to his small build proves his mettle and saves his uncle's life by standing up to a fearsome forest creature that resembles a large dog.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT by Wilma Bednarz

Between the title and the giant wasp pictured, you might think this is some new version of H.G. Wells "Food of the Gods". But its really just a basic alien invasion story. A U.F.O. lands and the giant wasp is actually the shape assumed by its alien pilot. The alien doesn't like noise and so the boy in the background is making as much clamor as he can.


Sweet One said...

I remember this book, along with the scince fiction tales books also published by Rand McNally, and illustrarted by Rod Routh, who also did the Album series about dinosaurs, prehistoric mammals, and early man. The science fiction books, which my parents bought when I was very small, but could read, were much the same format. But in Eerie Cratures, some of the Ruth illustrations were in full color, while the sf books had all b&w illos.

One favorite was "spell of the Spirit Stones." The part where Nancy (a young girl, and not a woman) gets thrown in the midst of the leech people( see illostration), is discribed in grusome detail. In fact, the author had a nack for insiting intense nausea when she describes how she will dranken alive. I was very grateful she escaped this fate!

Ellis Garvin said...

thanks so much for putting these pics up. i remember this book from my elementary school library. I read it many times and each time it scared the @$*%! out of me. I have never forgotten it, but it has been 30 years since I'd seen the illustrations in that book, until tonight when i found your posting. thanks again...

Elaine said...

These are awesome. Brings back so many memories. I'm trying to get my hands on either a copy of the book or copies of the stories so I can read them all over again. So far the only one I have is the patchworks monkey! Seeing these pictures and reading the patchwork monkey is bringing it all back again. If you know of anywhere I could get copies of the other stories or an inexpensive copy of the book please let me know!! Thanks again for your posting. These are awesome.

TheLibrarySound said...

Awesome book. For those interested, this title has been scanned in its entirety and is available for checkout at openlibrary dot org. Just create a free account and do a title search. Seems appropriate, since most of us probably only saw this in our school library way back when...