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

Friday 19 May 2017

Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

This brand new, hardcover edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an encyclopedia of all the magical creatures you could want to know about, all that populate the Harry Potter universe.

Anyone familiar with Harry Potter will know that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an approved textbook at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And if you've seen the recent Fantastic Beasts movie adaptation, you'll find the creatures from the movie in this book.

It begins with a 'for wizards only' version foreword by Newt Scamander whose full name is Newton Artemis Fido Scamander. The foreword explains this is a new and updated edition of the 2001 book of the same name, and raising money for Comic Relief.

If you're a Muggle, then you'll be pleased when Newt reassures you that Fantastic Beasts is purely a work of fiction.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the result of many years research and discusses at some length the definition of the word 'beast', and indeed which creatures may be categorised as beasts.

Also covered is the ongoing Muggle ignorance of magical creatures. Clause 73 of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy is explained as reason for magical beasts being in hiding, and there is also information about how that is done. Disillusionment charms, memory charms and the Office of Misinformation all have a role to play.

What then follows is an alphabetical list of fantastic beasts, all of which have been classified according to the Ministry of Magic as belonging to one of five categories:

  • Boring
  • Harmless and may be domesticated
  • A competent wizard should be able to cope with them
  • Dangerous and requires specialist wizard knowledge
  • Known wizard killer or impossible to train or domesticate

There's everything from Centaurs and Flobberworms, to Kneazles, Nifflers and Wampus Cats.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a book for every Harry Potter fan: read it from cover to cover, browse and learn more about the magical universe, and refer to it as you read the Harry Potter series, or watch the movies.

As Professor Albus Dumbledore says, 'No wizarding household is complete without a copy'.

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Author: J K Rowling
Illustrator: Tomislav Tomic, cover by Jonny Duddle
Publisher: Bloomsbury, $ 24.99
Publication Date: March 2017
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781408880715
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Fiction