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The Mythological Zoo   By: (1863-1935)

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The Mythological Zoo by Oliver Herford is a whimsical and charming collection of poems that takes readers on a delightful journey through the imaginative world of mythical creatures. From the magical realm of unicorns and griffins to the enchanting seas where mermaids and sirens dwell, Herford’s poetic verses bring these captivating creatures to life.

One of the standout aspects of this book is Herford’s masterful use of language. His rhymes are clever and unexpected, adding an element of surprise and delight to each poem. The witty wordplay and clever turns of phrase make reading this collection a joyous experience, allowing readers to fully immerse themselves in the mystical worlds that Herford creates.

Another striking feature of The Mythological Zoo is Herford’s whimsical illustrations. Each page is adorned with intricate drawings that capture the essence of the mythical creatures described in the poems. Herford’s artistic talent shines through in these illustrations, bringing an extra layer of enchantment to the book.

The poems themselves are filled with vivid imagery and vivid descriptions that transport readers to far-off lands. Whether it’s a thrilling encounter with a ferocious dragon or a tender moment shared with a gentle nymph, Herford’s ability to paint these pictures with words is truly impressive. Readers of all ages will find themselves captivated by the magic and wonder that permeates each poem.

Furthermore, Herford’s deep knowledge and love for mythology is evident throughout the book. The Mythological Zoo serves as an excellent introduction to various mythological creatures from different cultures around the world. From the majestic Phoenix to the mischievous Pegasus, Herford sheds light on the diverse and rich tapestry of mythical beings that have fascinated and inspired humanity for centuries.

Although The Mythological Zoo is primarily targeted towards younger readers, its appeal extends far beyond that. The whimsy and humor present in Herford’s poems make them enjoyable for readers of all ages. Whether you are a parent looking to introduce your child to the wonders of mythology or an adult seeking a delightful escape from the mundane, this book is sure to captivate and entertain.

In conclusion, The Mythological Zoo by Oliver Herford is a delightful collection of poems that elegantly weaves together mythology, whimsy, and creativity. Herford’s skillful use of language, intricate illustrations, and profound love for mythical creatures make this book a true gem. It is a joyful and enchanting read that will ignite the imaginations of readers young and old, leaving them with a sense of awe and wonder.

First Page:

The Mythological Zoo


Oliver Herford


New York Charles Scribner's Sons 1912

Copyright, 1912, by Oliver Herford

Published September, 1912


Elwyn Barron

With Affectionate Regard



Medusa 2 The Siren 4 The Dolphin 6 The Cockatrice 8 Cerberus 10 The Sphinx 12 The Sea Serpent 14 The Salamander 16 The Jinn 18 The Mermaid 20 The Unicorn 22 The Satyr 24 The Gargoyle 26 The Chimera 28 The Ph[oe]nix 30 The Gryphon 32 The Harpy 34 The Centaur 36 Pegasus 38 The Hydra 40 The Hyppogriff 42 The Minotaur 44

The Mythological Zoo


How did Medusa do her hair? The question fills me with despair. It must have caused her sore distress That head of curling snakes to dress. Whenever after endless toil She coaxed it finally to coil, The music of a Passing Band Would cause each separate hair to stand On end and sway and writhe and spit, She couldn't "do a thing with it." And, being woman and aware Of such disaster to her hair, What could she do but petrify All whom she met, with freezing eye?


The Siren

The Siren may be said to be The Chorus Lady of the Sea; Tho' Mermaids claim her as their kin, Instead of fishy tail and fin Two shapely feet rejoice the view (With all that appertains thereto)... Continue reading book >>

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