The Fascinating Creatures of the Abyssal Kingdom is a children book that expands the world of the TV show. It was produced in 1987 as the first step of Caroline Barker to reinvigorate the franchise of Candle Cove.
The origins of the book come from an episode of the TV show, when it was mentioned on pass. The guide's written in a metafictional way by fictional writers, it lists and describes several Abyssal Monsters, a few element creatures, Magic, and -despite the title- creatures from Candle Cove.
It elaborates on many things never seen in the show, like the Abyssian lifestyles and culture, and more detail on magic. The cover art is very cheap, but actual concept art for the creatures were used in the book, making up for the cover art. Some of the creatures described in the book were never used in the show. It also describes many locations in Candle Cove, some of which were never used in the show.
The book was not put on sale, it was created for a contest for editorial material for Preschool or Elementary Schools and few exemplars were printed.
It ended up not winning, although the PSA didn't give an explanation for their pass on. It is said they considered it "too frightening" for the kids. An urban legend states a mother, angry by the darkness of the themes, threw a copy to the trash can after a heated argument in one meeting.
Although authorized by Caroline Barker, the canonicity of this book is put in doubt. The true author of the guide is not stated (as it's referred only by its fictional authors) and it is not listed in the timeline by the Caroline Barker Fundation (as it was never published). Those who adhere to the theory of Prescott as the fundamental creator of the series accept this book as an important reflect of the series' concept and creativeness.
Mentioned in the prologue, the writers of the book were explorers from Candle Cove who traveled into the Abyssal Kingdom to gather information about its inhabitants. Their names were Izkabar; an aristocrat who funded the voyage, Ellington; the cook, and Dinely; the schoolteacher who could write.
They remained human because they took with them a special potion someone made for them in the Glittering Islands to avoid the transformation into Abyssal Things. Since these explorers died long ago and the identity of who created the potion is unknown, nobody has been able to reproduce the potion's formula.
The book was edited by Johnny Pallyworth, who attributes most of the content to Mary Prescott, who included unused concept art, and wrote an explaination for each creature, sometimes having to make stuff up; according to some sources, Prescott had many ideas for the show that couldn't be done because of the educational nature of it, and the lack of a bigger budget. It is said the failure of the guide prompted her to quit from the line and sell her share of the copyrights to Caroline Barker. Pallyworth can be considered a co-writer, as he made other notes and comments, including updates and other information about the show (for the book sleeves).
Others see a connection between the guide and the novel series written by Lisa Rollins; some creatures and concepts appear both in the Candle Cove cartoon pilot and the novel series, although with several differences. It should be noted Prescott was Rollins's godmother.
Ten copies were given away in 1987 a convention in Ohio's HeyKids Studio former facilities, where the show was broadcast, as part of the celebration of Candle Cove's 15th anniversary. The developers didn't know if people who hadn't watched the show would want to buy the books, and they gave them away via a trivia. The attendance was reportedly very little, and most of the contestants had never watched the series (or couldn't remember much of it), so they ended up giving the book away even if they didn't get the correct answers. These occurances, plus the limited edition, make this book very hard to find.
- The book describes about 87 monsters and creatures, including all which had been seen wandering in Candle Cove, and others that the explorers and writers of the book found in the surface stretch of the abyss. However, is was speculated by the (fictional) authors (and later confirmed by the Abyssians) that there are many more than the ones the book tells about. This was mentioned in the back of the book.