Scamander, Newt (J.K. Rowling). Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Scholastic, 2001. ISBN 0-439-29501-7. $3.99. 42 pp. B 1+ FI Reviewed by Alex Black The young Newt Scamander enjoyed his mother’s blessings in his studies of fantastic beasts. This interest eventually led to a career in Magizoology (the study of magical beasts) and this book. Fantastic Beasts is now in its fifty-second edition and has earned Scamander worldwide acclaim. He was even awarded the Order of Merlin, Second Class, for his explorations concerning fantastic beasts. This facsimile of Harry Potter’s personal copy of Fantastic Beasts includes his notes and comments on many pages. For example, the book tells readers Rumors that a colony of Acromantula has been established in Scotland are unconfirmed. But Harry wrote in his book, confirmed by Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. Scamander’s footnotes are also insightful and humorous. I was intrigued to learn that the Erumpent will not attack unless sorely provoked, but should it charge, the results are usually catastrophic. It also pleased me to finally learn which beast provides the pelt used in the weaving of Invisibility Cloaks. Yes, I’m a Harry Potter fan, and I wholeheartedly endorse this addition to Potter’s adventures. Now when Rowling presents a new beast in her novels, I can read about the dangers this particular beast may present. As always, I’m pleasantly surprised by Rowling’s fertile imagination.
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