fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review C.J. Henderson Baby's First MythosBaby’s First Mythos by C.J. Henderson

Do you, or a loved one, like your humor squamous and tentacled? Are you the proud owner of a pair of plush Cthulhu bedroom slippers? Do all those cute Little Golden Books about religion make you wish there were a Little Golden Book of Cthulhu? If so, Baby’s First Mythos is the book for you!

Baby’s First Mythos is written in the style of children’s alphabet and counting books. You’ll learn your ABCs from Azathoth to Zarnak. Each letter stands for a character, creature, or place in the H.P. Lovecraft mythos and features a verse by C.J. Henderson and intricate black-and-white artwork by his daughter Erica Henderson. The same treatment is then given to the numbers.

The poetry scans oddly in places. I’m usually bothered by this, but it seemed to fit here. It reminded me of Nanny Ashtoreth’s rendition of “This Little Piggy” in Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens, which also doesn’t scan properly but is still hilarious. The warped scansion seems to highlight the fact that the subject matter is, well, a little warped for nursery rhymes.

Obviously, Baby’s First Mythos is — despite the name — more a book for grown-ups. The children’s-book style means it’s not a long or complicated read, but it’s immensely entertaining if you have a twisted (maybe even non-Euclidean!) sense of humor. It would also make a good gift if you have a friend who’s a Lovecraft fan.

Baby’s First Mythos — (2009) Young adult. Publisher: Spawned from the mind of horror king and Origins award winner, C.J. Henderson, (“The Things That Are Not There,” “Tales of Inspector Legrasse”) this book is a fun-filled must for every Lovecraftian everywhere. Lavishly illustrated with dozens of all new, highly detailed pieces by Erica Henderson, this is one of those rare instant classics that everyone is simply going to have to have on their shelf. It will also blast your child’s soul as you teach them their ABCs and 123s — Mythos style! This book was published first as a 32 page softback with saddle stitching and only contained A-Z (though it was missing the letter “X” — for sanity’s sake). The new version is a thickhardcover, reminding one of a Golden Book-type book. It contains all the letters of the alphabet as well as the numbers 1 through 0 and a short rhyming section. A great novelty item for Cthulhu/Lovecraft fans and those who love Edward Gorey’s, The Gashlycrumb Tinies.


  • Kelly Lasiter

    KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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