(Cover by John Coulthart; the blurb reads, “What use is this? If ever I were to cook one of these, you know you wouldn’t eat it anyway.” – Bubbe)
We’ve just turned in The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals, subtitled “The Evil Monkey Dialogues.” The cover and interior design will both be by John Coulthart. Each entry in the bestiary will be illustrated with art either selected or created by Coulthart (and we hope to stick in some Ian Miller, too…). Joseph Nigg, author of The Book of Fabulous Beasts (OUP), provides a foreword. The release date is February 2010, just in time for Purim–although I should add that the book will appeal to non-Jews as well. We’ve added a pinch of Borges here and there. Our book is a lot sillier than his bestiary, of course, but it seemed somehow an oversight not to do a tip of the hat…
What works for a blog entry is different than what works for a book. In creating the book version of Kosher, we jettisoned some of the entries that originally featured on the blog, added new ones, and radically revised and supplemented the original entries we did keep. It should make for a very nice gift book–a beautiful little hardcover, 5 x 7, 96 pages.
Here’s the description and the TOC:
Whimsically illustrated, this bite-sized bestiary is the deciding vote on which fantastical creatures are kosher. Embarking on an undomesticated romp from A to Z, the ritual cleanliness of E.T., hobbits, Mongolian Death Worms, and the elusive chupacabra are discussed. This hilarious kashrut is the offspring of a debate that began on Jeff Vandermeerâ€™s blog, between his alter-ego, Evil Monkey, and his editor/wife. Addressing questions such as Is a vegetable-lamb a vegetable or a lamb? Does licking the Pope make you trayf? What exactly is a Pollo Maligno? and Is Sasquatch roast stringy? this irreverent abecedary is a perfect gift for anyone seeking to broaden their imaginary culinary experiences guilt-free.
Foreword: Joseph Nigg
Introduction: Jews and Food, Real and Imaginary, Ann VanderMeer
Mongolian Death Worm
Pope Lick Monster
Sasquatch (aka Bigfoot)
Vegetable Lamb of Tartary