Challenge Criteria: A book that’s becoming a movie this year
Although I crossed this off my list of challenges very early this year (with Room, which I have also never reviewed, despite reading it in February), I didn’t think it was a totally fair book to fit into this category because the film Room was released in 2015. I still haven’t seen it, incidentally, but that’s by the by.
So in order to fulfil this challenge properly, I decided instead to read a book which the film is entirely not based on, but has the same name as.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Newt Scamander (and a bit JK Rowling)
A copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them resides on almost every wizarding household in the country. Now, for a limited period only, Muggles too have the chance to discover where the Quintaped lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why it is best not to leave milk out for a Knarl.
Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to improving and saving the lives of children around the world, which means that the dollars and Galleons you exchange for it will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, I can only hope most sincerely that passing wizards feel more charitable if they ever see you being attacked by a Manticore.
Fantastic Beasts was published in 2001 for Red Nose Day, together with Quidditch Through the Ages, and is a replica of Harry’s textbook from school. It’s largely a list of magical beasts and their habits, with some scribbled notes from the Golden Trio in the margins. It also has a short biography of Newt Scamander inside the front cover which – as I have seen online – some would consider spoilers for the Fantastic Beasts film.
I’m not entirely sure you can call spoilers on a book which was published fifteen years before the film, but that’s not stopping people on the internet.
Fantastic Beasts is short, funny, and diverting, and easy to read – I had it finished in a single day. The money from it goes to a good cause, and the film based on the beasts within is highly entertaining – perhaps more so than the Harry Potter films, because I wasn’t constantly comparing my idea of the plot to what it looked like on-screen (although I really don’t think that’s what a niffler would look like).
A cute little companion to a series that I have very great affection for, and a fun reference book for the films which are yet to come. Pretty sure bowtruckles are brown though.