Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an official Harry Potter Booklet by Newt Scamander (a nom de plume of J.K. Rowling). It has a rather lengthy introduction (including sections about the definition of "beast", concealing magic from muggles, etc.) as well as hundreds of logs of wizardly speicies, including Dragons, Kneazles, Clabberts, and Jarveys. It is a companion to the novels, although it is not strictly neccesary. I'd recommend buying Quidditch through the ages first, as it is a slightly more interesting read.
It is very in-character. From the price (12 sickles, 3 knuts to writing scribbled in by Harry, Ron and Hermione. Blank pages contain games of tic-tac-toe, and hangman. (including scribbled commentary: "you die weasly" and "Harry Loves
The selection of beasties examined is very broad, including many well-known monsters such as leprechauns, faeries and pixies, (although there are some very interesting twists) as well as completely new ones such as "Mackled Malacklaws". Most of the monsters featured in the Harry Potter series are included, although there are many new ones.
The style of writing in the core of the book is very nice. M.O.M classification (Ministry of Magic: how dangerous a particular monster is.) is listed at the beginning of each entry, which vary in size from one paragraph to five or six. Certain types of monsters have several sub-sections (for instance, the entry for dragon includes 4 pages of descriptions of species). Other information includes the accustomed territory of the monster, how large their litters are, their agressiveness, how they interact with humans, and much more.
As an example of the information to be found, I've included a quote from Page 36, with information about the Ramora . This is one of the shortest descriptions in the book, which is why I decided to quote it. The average length is about twice as long, though particularily interesting critters often get a page to themselves.
M.O.M. Classification: XX
The Ramora is a silver fish found in the Indian Ocean. Powerfully magical, it can anchor ships and is a guardian of seafarers. The Ramora is highly valued by the International Confederation of Wizards, which has set many laws in place to protect the Ramora from wizard poachers
Fine print: This is copyright 2001 by J.K.Rowling, from the book "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them".
Anyways, I heartily recommend this book, not only because of its great style, subject matter, and perfect in-characteredness, but also because quite a portion of the price of sale goes to Comic Relief, a charity that helps poor people.
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