'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 5 December 2016

Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Newt Scamander - A Movie Scrapbook

This is a fantastic behind the scenes look at the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. A new creation from JK Rowling, Fantastic Beasts is a prequel to the Harry Potter series.

The book delves into the creation of the movie world and its characters. First there is Newt Scamander. Newt is a wizard and a Magizoologist (isn't that a great word?) which is an expert on magical beasts. Before he became famous to Harry Potter and his friends, Newt travelled to New York with a suitcase full of creatures - magical creatures. Newt's suitcase is a special one and appears a bit TARDIS-like as it can hold many creatures and re-creates their native habitats inside the case.

Newt's friends include the auror, Tina and her sister Queenie (whose costumes are in the flapper style of the times), and factory worker Jacob who is a No-Maj (the American version of a Muggle, someone who doesn't have magical abilities).

Fantastic Beasts is set in the 1920s and the movie and this scrapbook touch on themes from the time such as prohibition, emerging technologies (electricity, telephones etc), and Art Deco architecture, as well as weaving in elements from other periods, such as the Salem witch trials.

The book contains numerous flaps and pockets with removable cards, fold-out maps, and fantastic facts. There are heaps of photos from sets, from the movie itself, and of props (wands galore!).

With a title like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them it's essential to include magical creatures in the book. Photos show how some of the larger beasts were created using green screens, puppets, and CGI. The creatures come with names like Niffler, Erumpent, Demiguise, Murtlap, Mooncalf, Bowtruckle, and Billywig. The Niffler has quite a starring role in the movie.

The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie scrapbook is a must-have for Harry Potter fans, young or old.

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Newt Scamander - A Movie Scrapbook
Author/Illustrator: Warner Brothers
Publisher: Bloomsbury, $27.99
Publication Date: November 2016
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781408885642
For ages: 8+
Type: Non fiction