While I usually try to avoid these kinds of books in my practice, as a knowledge-hungry gemini I’ve always craved reading books about mythology and magical creatures. I will say this right off the bat, that this book should be read for educational purposes only, as many of the creatures mentioned are part of closed cultures or religions and are not open for the use in the practices of outside witches or persons. However, there are certain sections, like certain sections on Mermaids and Dragons, that are open for witches to use in their work. It is just important to be mindful and only work with the critters that are open for you to work with. Don’t go trying to contact a Thunderbird or anything. Come on. Be respectful of closed cultures.
Aside from that, this is a great book. It provides awesome historical accounts and descriptions of hundreds of magical and mythological creatures, which are accompanied by beautiful illustrations. The book is arranged into parts, Fabulous Animals, Creatures from the Shadow World, Nature Spirits and Sacred Creatures. That last chapter is actually more about animalistic deities in religions and cultures than about creatures. While I do recommend this as a good resource for witches, it is absolutely vital that they read it with a grain of salt and not with the intention of trying to work with the creatures that are associated with closed cultures. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from anything involving cultures that have suffered oppression, discrimination or genocide (usually native, indigenous, aboriginal, or minority cultures) at the hands of oppressors (usually european, white and the majority culture). As long as you keep that in mind, this book will do wonders for you. It really enriched my understanding of certain creatures, such as Dragons and Nymphs.
The book is well written from an unbiased perspective, easy to understand, and fun to read. I highly recommend giving it a read, if nothing else but for the wonderful stories in it.