Judging by the Cover: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Book Review

November is a time of thanks. A time of gratefulness and devotes to the acclaimed Harry P. And no one is more grateful than the vast population of Potterheads, anxiously awaiting the film adaption of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” set for release Nov. 18th this year. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is based on the 2001 book written by JK Rowling, and it will be 9th film installment of the Harry Potter franchise.

For those who haven’t read “Fantastic Beasts  and Where to Find Them,” it is the novelized adaptation of a mentioned Hogwarts Textbook. Written by the protagonist Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne in the film), the book educates on the subject of “magizoology” or the study of magical creatures.

Photo courtesy of the-leaky-cauldron.org
Photo courtesy of the-leaky-cauldron.org

Starting with a foreword from Albus Dumbledore himself, he writes, “I would like to take this opportunity to reassure Muggle purchasers that the amusing creatures described hereafter are fictional and cannot hurt you. To wizards, I say merely: Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.”

The book then continues, set in the early 1900’s, 70 years prior to Harry Potter’s adventures, the story follows Newt Scamander, a recent Hufflepuff Hogwarts graduate, as he joins the Ministry of Magic in the “Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures”. Throughout the story, readers follow Newt on his career which included House-Elf relocation, transfer to the Beast Division, the 1947 creation of the Werewolf Register, his take on the Ban of Experimental Breeding in 1965, Dragon Research, Restraint Bureau, etc. It even includes additional comedic relief notes from our original character favorites, primarily Ron Weasley, who shares the book with Harry Potter.

Rowling’s expanse of the Potterverse gives readers and viewers greater insight into the functioning of the Ministry of Magic, the magical creatures mentioned in the original series, and even the legal aspects concerning animal and human rights in the magical realm.

The movie will focus on Newt’s adventures in 1926 New York as he uncovers mysterious new creatures and becomes intertwined in the dealings of No-Majs (American word for Muggles), a fanatical group intent on exposing the wizarding community. As his beasts are accidentally released into the world, Newt allies himself with Auror Tina Goldstein , Tina’s sister, and muggle Jacob Kowalski.

Photo courtesy of Comingsoon.net
Photo courtesy of Comingsoon.net

Eddie Redmayne an English actor known for his roles in “Les Miserables”, “The Theory of Everything,” and “The Danish Girl,” to name a few, will be leading the franchise. Provided the movie and his performance as the young magizoologist bodes well with audiences, fans can expect a total of five films, intended to be released every couple years.

While the book is a series add-on intended to provide information on the creatures of the Harry Potter realm, it promises to be an engaging film with exciting new characters. With the screen play being written by Rowling herself, fans can rest assured knowing it’ll be true to the material. Not to mention, despite the fact the book has no sequels, Potterheads can look forward to more film based on the book, so we’ll be seeing more Newt Scamander and the beasts that roam in the wizarding world of Harry Potter.

Photo courtesy of screenrant.com
Photo courtesy of screenrant.com

If Potter fans of the films and/or books want a fundamental understanding of the characters and creatures that will be featured in the film, I recommend checking the book out. It’s only 128 pages so it’ll be a quick read and may help with fully understanding the magical creatures you’ll see on screen. Be forewarned, the novel discusses over 60 magical creatures, so it may be quite a bit of information to pack in. If all else fails though, you could probably find a walking Potter encyclopedia to tell you all you need to know while waiting in line for the movie.