I’ve had these books for years, having gotten them for Christmas the year Deathly Hallows came out (so 9 years, cough), but after I reread the series in February, and with the Fantastic Beasts movie coming out this November, I felt the time was right.
I think the reason for putting off reading them was because I’ve never held any particular interest for animals nor sports (especially sports), but if there is one thing that will spark an interest in me for anything, it’s Harry Potter.
I should never have doubted. These books were fantastic, whimsical and light. I understand why Hermione read her textbooks for light reading now. Honestly, give me that History of Magic textbook.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander and Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennelworthy Whisp are two books by J.K. Rowling written for the UK charity Comic Relief. Both have amusing forwards by Albus Dumbledore explaining why these wizarding books have been released to the Muggle public.
While I really enjoyed both of them, I would choose Fantastic Beasts as my favorite of the two. I loved reading Scamander’s wizarding history of laws regarding magical beasts, and his individualized description of each animal was extremely entertaining. That, and there are little scribbled notes by Harry and Ron on some of the pages, commenting on certain beasts like Acromantulas and Hippogriffs and making fun of the text. I’m really, really, looking forward to this movie now.
Quidditch Through the Ages was also very entertaining, and a great light read. This book describes the history of Quidditch through letters and newspaper clippings from past centuries and gives us insight into medieval wizarding sports, which was my favorite part. It also gives descriptions of each Quidditch team in the UK league, as well as the popularity of the sport in other countries. I found it very amusing that in the United States, Quidditch takes a backseat to a different ball game that consists of exploding balls, Quadpot, much like soccer takes a backseat to American football.
Both of these books were highly entertaining and I really enjoyed them, and I wish I hadn’t taken nearly a decade to read them! But better late than never 🙂 If you’re a Harry Potter fan, I can guarantee 100% you’ll like them (even if you’ve put off reading them as long as I did).