Ann and Jeff VanderMeer tackle tough questions in their delightful, illustrated page-turner: Could Bigfoot be served, roasted, at a seder? What about a cloven-hoofed alien? The two debate whether the 34 gloriously illustrated creatures in their The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals, are kosher based on Jewish law, religious texts, and sometimes just a gut feeling.
They cover many different cultures too – from the furry monster of Japanese folklore, abumi-guchi (not kosher) to the cannabalistic chicken of Columbian tales, pollo maligno (possibly kosher).
Highlights definitely include Ann’s verdict on the Laud (a Slavic demon) – “Even a mediocre vampire isn’t kosher” and Jeff’s open-ended question, “Can a metaphor be kosher?”
John Coulthart designed the book with intricate other-worldly drawings that make even the hulky Behemoth look noble. There is also a delicious epilogue by Duff Goldman, star of Ace of Cakes, where he explains how to prepare cooked Wookiee and why evil tastes like the inside of a walnut.