Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Source: West Florida Public Library
I’m still coming down from my recent #Potterbinge. In the last few months of 2015, I listened to the entire Harry Potter series narrated by Stephen Fry. I know I’m repeating myself, but it was glorious, and everyone should listen to his version! Between falling down the Wizarding World rabbit hole whilst Potter-binging and the news surrounding the upcoming Fantastics Beast and Where to Find Them film, I decided it was finally time to delve into the three books published for Muggles after the the series concluded. These books were absolutely adorable and a lot of fun to read.
This is a reprint of the textbook used by Harry Potter for his Care of Magical Creatures class. Not only does it provide a A-Z overview of the various magical creatures, the introduction explains some of the history behind what constitutes a “beast,” and magizoology. Also, because this is Harry’s book, the Muggle reader sees his (and Ron’s) annotations as well.
I really liked the content of this book. I read this while listening to one of the Harry Potter books (can’t recall which), and I found I was already familiar with some of the creatures the students were studying, such as bowtruckles. Unfortunately, though, it left me wanting. For a children’s book, there’s too much text and not enough illustration. It reads like a list, and I can see how some kiddos might lose interest in a creature book without loads of creatures to look at. I have no idea whether a fully illustrated version exists (or will exist soon as the film release approaches), but that would be bloody brilliant.
Quidditch Through the Ages comes to us Muggles via the Hogwarts Library, and Prof. Dumbledore shares in the forward a quote from Madam Pince, the Hogwarts library, that this book is “pawed about, dribbled on, and generally maltreated” nearly every day. This book provides the developmental history of the game, the various teams around the world, and a little instruction on many in-flight manuevers.
I admit that I initially selected this book out of obligation. Hermione is my spirit witch, so it may not be surprising that I preferred reading about charms, potions, and transmutation over quidditch (don’t get me wrong – it’s still a rather nifty sport, and I would *love* to be able to play).
I was very pleased to find myself enjoying this book as much as I did Fantastic Beasts. I love the detail in which the history of the sport was crafted, and I enjoyed learning that there are other wizarding sports around the world. One of my favorite moments is the description of the Crudely Cannons, that their “glory day many be considered by many to be over, but their devoted fans live in hope of a renaissance” and that the league changed their motto from “We shall conquer” to “Let’s all keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.” I immediately thought of the Chicago Cubs and their legion of devoted fans.
This is a book of wizard children stories first introduced to Muggles when Prof. Dumbledore bequethed his copy to Hermione in his will. I suppose wizarding children have their own fairy tales just like Muggle children do. The Tales of Beedle the Bard includes a selection of these stories, including “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbity Rabbitty and Her Crackling Stump,” and “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” Of these three books, this was definitely my favorite.
First, one of my favorite scenes from all of the movies is the animated telling of “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” I love that type of animation, and I feel like it’s beautifully done.