Title: J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic Volume Two: Curious Creatures
Author: Ramin Zahed
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s non-fiction, Activity
Book format: Hardback
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Description: Thunderbirds and Nifflers, house-elves and Hippogriffs – J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World abounds with magical creatures of all kinds. But how does a Bowtruckle come to life on the big screen? Is an Occamy a snake or a bird? And what’s the truth about Mooncalf poo? Featuring detailed creature profiles, stunning artwork and captivating insights from the making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and all eight Harry Potter films, these pages reveal everything fans want to know about how these creatures were created. Jam-packed with bonus material – pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, removable posters and other goodies – this book offers young readers a thrilling backstage pass to the wizarding world.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is such a stunning book and perfect for any Harry Potter fan. This hardback is heavy and beautifully embossed with glossy images of al the creatures on the front and some lovely shiny gold embellishments. The book is filled with thick glossy pages with some wonderful photos and sketches as well as some text and fun extras attached to the pages.

Movie Magic Volume two book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

‘Curious Creatures’ is the second in the ‘J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic’ series of three books and shows lots of the creatures that were part of the Harry Potter’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ films. Arranged in chapters according to film and what type of creatures they are, each page or double page is filled with some beautiful images and some great information all about that particular creature.

Beginning with creatures from ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ you are introduced to characters such as the Niffler, Murtlap, Mooncalf and Nundu, to name a few, before focusing on those found in the ‘Harry Potter’ films like the Centaurs, Thestrals, various Dragons and the animals like Hedwig and Crookshanks. Each creature or animal is introduced with interesting facts mentioned such as what the creatures do in the films and more importantly how they were animated or used in the films.

Movie Magic Volume two book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

There are some stunning images throughout the book. Each creature has a photo or picture of it along with various other photos from the films or illustrations of the creatures including some interesting sketches of some of them which look like early sketches by the designers to show different versions of each creature or the various movements of them. Along with the images is some fun snippets of text all about the creatures, from information about their habitat and various appearances in the films to the most interesting information on how they were put into the films. I had no idea that so many of the CGI animations started as real-life models that had to then be scanned into a computer before they could be animated. It’s interesting to learn which of these creatures were CGI and which were animatronic (robotic versions). I also really enjoyed learning about the real animals used for the various roles such as Hedwig and how long it took to train some of them. All of these pieces of information are very interesting and easy to understand in the snippet style used in each page.

Each page is colourful and arranged in a way that is fun, but there are also lots of little extras which are stuck into this book. It’s this aspect that I enjoyed the most as I’ve always loved books with added extra bits to look at and touch. A lot of the extras are little pieces of paper or cards attached to the pages by a small corner and include some fun extra information or illustrations. There are also flaps to lift and explore and even some pop-up details, all of which go to make this book extra special. Inside one page featuring some dragons there was a small booklet of various dragon illustrations and one page even has a mini section of a newspaper to look at! Two pages have sheets of stickers which feature a selection of the creatures that are in this book and the inside of the back cover holds a removable poster of some medicinal plants from the movies that weren’t featured in other parts of the book.

Movie Magic Volume two book page image three
©The Strawberry Post

This book is amazing and even as someone who’s not a huge Harry Potter fan I am mesmerised by how stunning and interesting this book is. I recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of the films or just interested in them and how the movies were created. This really is a lovely gift for any age and one that will really be enjoyed.

-Review first appeared online December 2017 – now republished here.

Are you a fan of the world Harry Potter?  Did you enjoy the movies?  What do you think of this book?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂