The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals: Final TOC

Jeff VanderMeer • May 31st, 2009 @ 1:03 pm • News

(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 Vandermeer’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


Aigi Kampos
Arkan Sonney
Cornish Owl-Man
E.T. (Extra-terrestrial)
Headless Mule
Mongolian Death Worm
Pollo Maligno
Pope Lick Monster
Sasquatch (aka Bigfoot)
Sea Monkeys
Vegetable Lamb of Tartary
Selected Discussion

8 Responses to “The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals: Final TOC”

  1. Steve Vernon says:

    Very cool. With my own cryptoid picture book coming out this fall I will have to keep an eye out for this one.

    Nice work.

  2. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Cryptoid picture book, huh? Got a link? I’m a sucker for that kind of thing.

  3. undeadbydawn says:

    just to be totally picky, it’s spelled ban-sidhe. I think

  4. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Huh? Not following. Thing isn’t copy-edited yet anyway.

  5. Larry says:

    OK, was totally going to buy this anyways, but looking through that ToC….Borges? The intervening months cannot fly by any slower, I hope, as I want this ASAP just to see what that entry is!

  6. Will Hindmarch says:

    It’s spelled ban-sidhe in Gaelic, etc., but just as we accept the traditional, modern English spellings of “vampire” and “werewolf,” we should accept banshee. There’s a value to having access to things like the terms “vampyr” and “vroukolakas” and “loup-garou,” but there’s a value to the familiar spelling, too.

    Now that I’ve sucked the funny out of it.

  7. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Ah, gotcha. Yeah–I somehow see more funny in some of the others, like pollo maligno, remaining untranslated.

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