Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Hogwarts Library) by Newt Scamander, J.K. Rowling

Rated it: 4.5 stars

Read: December 2017

Read count: 2

See my review for The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The first time I read this it was a copy of my cousins, three years ago when I was visiting in England. A slim red paperback edition with Harry’s scribbles which I’d thoroughly enjoyed. I believe that being on the island, while not in Scotland where Hogwarts is, added more to the sublime atmosphere. At the time this was one of the three books of the Hogwarts Library Collection that I did not have.

Ah, but I remedied that recently and now I have in my possession the edition above published just last year. A gorgeous hardcover, smooth as a baby’s bum and has an illustration of a Runespoor, the three-headed serpent, on the back cover.

While sans scribbles it has a forward by the man himself, Newt Scamander, who briefly mentioned on the incidents in the movie adaptation of Fantastic Beasts which in my opinion was a brilliant touch for those of us who have watched the movie, fostering a sense of familiarity.

The introduction states what is considered a Being and a Beast and the controversies that have challenged and modified the definitions over the years; and how they’ve secretly coexisted with muggle-kind. The few pages prior to the first entry inform the reader of the five tiers of danger that each creature poses to humans. The entries themselves are a delight and I felt as if I were delving deeper into Rowling’s magical world.

It’s a bit tricky to go beyond what I’ve already said to describe this book as it is essentially a charming little bestiary. And I imagine that this is a condensed version because if you think about it there are thousands of animals of whom muggles are aware of, reason stands that there may be as many magical creatures that were left out?

A few of my favourite creatures include the Hippogriff, the Niffler, Phoenix, Dragons and the aforementioned Runespoor. The one thing that caused me to protract from a full five-star rating was the lack of more illustrations. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of the illustrated edition (the very one I’m lusting for).

There were a handful of simple sketches but I wanted more. But we don’t always get what we want, so I have to wait until I can get my mitts on that. On the bright side, I do own A Journey Through A History Of Magic by The British Library, illustrated by the incomparable Jim Kay! He painted the eggs of all ten species of dragons mentioned in this book, so it was pretty neat to see what’s what.

All in all, it’s a satisfying read. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is finally on the shelf with the others at the ready, suffice to say I’m a happy girl.

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