Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Illustrated Edition) by J.K. Rowling – REVIEW

Fantastic BeastsThis glorious new edition of Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (considered a classic throughout the wizarding world) features an extraordinary array of magical creatures, from Acromantula to Yeti via ten different breeds of dragon – all beautifully illustrated in full colour by the brilliantly inventive, Greenaway Medal shortlisted Olivia Lomenech Gill.

Famed Magizoologist Newt Scamander’s years of adventure and exploration have yielded a work of unparalleled importance, admired by scholars, devoured by young witches and wizards, and even made available to Muggles in the early years of this century. With this dazzling illustrated edition, readers can explore the magical fauna of five continents from the comfort of their own armchairs. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is essential reading at Hogwarts.

Fantastic Beasts

“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.”

I had to buy this book to add to my Harry Potter collection, especially as it’s the book that was most in need of illustrations. Instead of Jim Kay, the Hogwarts Library books are being illustrated by different authors. For Fantastic Beasts, we have Olivia Lomenech Gill illustrating and her style is perfectly suited to this bestiary-type book. There are double page spreads scattered throughout, which are absolutely breathtaking. It’s hard to imagine the time that must have gone into the huge original illustrations. I particularly appreciated the muted tones used as they lent a more natural and organic feel to the book as a whole. Combined with the sketchy style of the illustrations, they evoke the feeling of looking at Newt’s actual diary and suggest how a magizoologist might have viewed these creatures.

“Phoenix song is magical: it is reputed to increase the courage of the pure of heart and to strike fear into the heart of the impure.”

The original text has been updated to include six new profiles of magical creatures that inhabit North America (some of which are seen in the film) and a foreword by J.K. Rowling writing as Newt Scamander. The only things missing from this edition are the humorous annotations made by Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the original text, but it’s understandable as they wouldn’t have fitted with the luxury of this book. After seeing the film, I found the profiles even more fascinating and enjoyed seeing how the beasts fit into the wider wizarding world. I just really want a niffler now though.

“Imperfect understanding is often more dangerous than ignorance.”

I read this book the day it arrived but it’s one of those books that deserves time being spent on it to fully appreciate each illustration. It’s the largest Harry Potter book I own as it’s bigger than the other illustrated editions. I hope the illustrated edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard is the same size so they match. I would definitely recommend this book to any fans of Harry Potter, or as an introduction to the wizarding world. It would also be a wonderful gift for any fans of the Fantastic Beasts film as they can learn more about their favourite creatures.

This is a stunning addition to any Potterhead’s collection.

(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

About the Author

J.K. Rowling is the author of the record-breaking, multi-award-winning Harry Potter novels. Loved by fans around the world, the series has sold over 450 million copies, been translated into 78 languages, and made into 8 blockbuster films.

As well as receiving an OBE for services to children’s literature, she has received many awards and honours, including France’s Légion d’honneur and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.


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