Newton “Newt” Artemis Fido Scamander was born in 1897. His interest in fabulous beasts was encouraged by his mother, who was an enthusiastic breeder of fancy Hippogriffs. Upon graduation from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Mr. Scamander joined the MInistry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. After two years at the Office for House-Elf Relocation, years he describes as “tedious in the extreme,” he was transferred to the Beast Division, where his prodigious knowledge of bizarre magical animals ensured his rapid promotion.
Although almost solely responsible for the creation of the Werewolf Register in 1947, he says he is proudest of the Ban on Experimental Breeding, passed in 1965, which effectively prevented the creation of new and untameable monsters within Britain. Mr. Scamander’s work with the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau led to many research trips abroad, during which he collected information for his worldwide best-seller Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, now in its fifty-second edition.
Newt Scamander was awarded the Order of Merlin, Second Class, in 1979 in recognition of his services to the study of magical beasts, Magizoology. Now retired, he lives in Dorset with his wife Porpentina and their pet Kneazles: Hoppy, Milly and Mauler.
The book in one sentence: About the fantastic beasts in the wizarding world of Harry Potter and… well, where to find them.
Who would you recommend it to: Strictly for Harry Potter fans with large allowances from Mummy and Daddy.
OK bits: Descriptions of the animals mentioned in the 7-book series of Harry Potter: Basilisk, Centaur, Phoenix etc. I also enjoyed reading about the Quintaped, Runespoor, Chimaera, Kelpie, Snidget and Manticore.
Boring bits: Descriptions of some unknown animals not mentioned in the books. The beginning is also a little dreary. Just a little.
Verdict: If the price of this slim book stops you from buying and yet you’re wondering if you’re missing anything, don’t worry, you’re not. It’s just nice to have it to add to your Harry Potter collection, but please don’t spend so much on such a thin book. Try your luck browsing in secondhand bookstores like how I found mine, for only RM3 (less than half of one sterling pound, or almost USD$1).