from the publisher:
Werewolves and other shapeshifters have haunted the world's folklore from time immemorial. Today they are the stuff of movies and novels, from old classic films like The Wolf Man to the popular Animorphs novels that are sold in the aisles of Walmart. Yet most people know little about the folklore that came before the fiction, particularly anything with origins outside Europe. Few people have heard legends about American werewolves, let alone the leopard-men of African mythology, the werefoxes of Japan, or the "enchanted dolphins" of Brazil.
Where is the multicultural shapeshifter? So far, there is nothing out there that covers different species of shapeshifter in all parts of the world. If you want anything other than a European-style werewolf, you must look up individual legends in dozens of separate books. Half Human, Half Animal: Tales of Werewolves and Related Creatures collects the best of these far-flung tales into one volume.
It is laid out in a format where only the first chapter is devoted to werewolves. Each of the other six chapters is devoted to a different animal, except for the last chapter where a bunch of herbivorous shapeshifters are grouped together. The majority of the book is occupied by the legends themselves, but it also includes information about the historical and cultural context behind these beliefs. The book also acts as a reference guide; each chapter includes a list of novels and movies (with a short synopsis of each) about the creature covered in that chapter. Such lists are practically nonexistent, except in the case of werewolves. It is next to impossible to find a list of fiction on the theme of people who turn into foxes, but a collection of 21 novels and 6 movies are included in the fox chapter.
There is also a section of appendices in the back of the book that includes an Internet guide, plus resource information about documentary films, TV shows, and even places to visit. With this book in hand, the interested reader can track down plenty of fiction or nonfiction about any of the mythical creatures found within its pages.