Cryptids are animals which are believed by some people to exist, but for whose existence there is not currently sufficient scientific evidence, like the Chupacabra, or the Yeti. Cryptozoology is the search for such creatures, based mainly on anecdotes and supposed sightings. Sometimes cryptids turn out to really exist, or to have once existed, while others are proven to be deliberate hoaxes or mistakes. Cryptid Creatures: A Field Guide looks at 50 such creatures, with the aim of providing the best available evidence for their existence. It is written by Kelly Milner Halls, author of In Search of Sasquatch and Alien Investigation: Searching for the Truth about UFOs and Aliens, and illustrated by Rick Spears.
The creatures are arranged in alphabetical order, and given a rating from 1 to 6, with 1 being "proven a hoax" and 6 being "proven real" (and therefore no longer a cryptid). There is information about where each creature has been sighted, or was rumoured to exist, the history of any sightings or evidence as well as references to some of the creatures in popular culture. The illustrations are quite cute, and the text is simple and straightforward, suited to younger readers and there is a nice range of creatures covered, including a fair few I'd never heard of. As an Australian, I was delighted to see that Drop Bears were included.
I'm a little dubious about the ratings, since Bigfoot is rated at 5 ("may be confirmed as real in the not so distant future"). The author mentions the famous Patterson-Gimlin film that is supposed to be a sighting of the creature, but fails to mention criticism of the film, including the claim of Bob Heironomus, a labourer, that Gimlin offered to pay him $1000 to dress up as Bigfoot for the film. Perhaps Bigfoot is a favourite of the author's and she just really wants them to exist.
Cryptid Creatures: A Field Guide is a fun book which will probably appeal to animal lovers and people who are interested in mysteries and historical hoaxes. It's not the most detailed or accurate information about cryptids available, but it does cover a fair few of them and is a quick, easy read.
Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Sasquatch Books, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Published: September 24, 2019.