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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them… in the library

Posted on November 15, 2016 at 6:00 am

By David Wyatt

In just a few days, movie-goers will be returning to J. K. Rowling’s wizarding world on screen when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters. It’s been a pretty good year for Potter and company: the new play in London Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and a little closer to home with the Spokane Symphony’s Music of Harry Potter performance last month. While Rowling populates her books with many fantastic and outlandish critters, there are many other places you can read about such beasts. Their hiding places can be a little tricky and just like in the wizarding world, it can be a challenge to find all the fantastic beasts. Here’s my quick rundown of likely places to find wondrous monstrosities in the library.

beasts1Dr. Ernest Drake’s Dragonology by Dugald Steer
Shelf location: C (STEER)

Some of my favorite illustrated guides to the fantastical and strange are Steer’s “ology” series. The dragons are illustrated wonderfully. Dr. Drake catalogs and speculates on the care, feeding, and habits of dragons. While there aren’t any Hungarian Horntails or Welsh Green dragons, these varieties are given Latin names to distinguish species. It’s somewhat disguised to look like a nonfiction book, but it lurks in children’s fiction section.


Potterwookiee by Obert Skye
Shelf location: C (SKYE)

Rob’s closet used to be a science laboratory. Because he doesn’t read much, it’s now a dumping ground for all sorts of books. Strange creatures are coming to life, born from the strange chemistry between the lab materials and the books. In the second installment of The Creature from My Closet series, Chewbacca gets mashed up with Harry Potter and hijinks ensue!


The Caretaker’s Guide to Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Shelf location: C (MULL)

Even if you’re not a fan of the Fablehaven series yet, this guide to creatures, demons, and dragons is really fun. You are the new caretaker of all these beasts, and this is your guide to Basilisks, Giants, and Zombies. You get lots of tips and tricks for dealing with all these crazy creatures. Also if this taste of Fablehaven intrigues you, you’ll have time to catch up on the series before Dragonwatch (book 6) comes out in March 2017.


The Menagerie by Tui T. Sutherland
Digital location: OverDrive eBook

The last of our fiction titles is in a particularly cool spot. This is a digital book that’s available through Overdrive. You can read on your phone, tablet, or ereader and take it everywhere you go. Zoe and Logan are on the case of missing Griffins from this centuries old zoo of bizarre creatures. This is the first in a series too, so if you get hooked there’s more to come back to.


Finding Fairies: Secrets for Attracting Little People from Around the World by Michelle Roehm McCann
Shelf location: 398.2 MCCANN

Here’s an excellent place to look for all sorts of magical creatures! This illustrated guide to fairies and little folk from across the world has information on fairy food, gardens, and games. Also if you look around the shelves in the same general area in the library, you’ll probably find some werewolves, vampires, and centaurs.


Unusual Creatures: A Mostly Accurate Account of Some of the Earth’s Strangest Animals by Michael Hearst
Shelf location:590 HEARST

Here you find your favorite real-life creatures, such as horses, sharks, and giraffes. They get a bit more exotic though. You probably know about the platypus and wombat, but how about a Yeti Crab or Slow Loris? Personally, the Flying Snake sounds terrifying. I couldn’t even open to that page, but maybe you are braver than I.


Eric Carle’s Dragons Dragons & Other Creatures That Never Were by Eric Carle
Shelf Location: 808.81937 CARLE

Here’s a tricky one! You probably wouldn’t expect to find beasties in the poetry section, but this collection of mythological and folk creatures illustrated by Eric Carle is a great surprise. Carle’s signature art style brings to life creatures such as the Centaur, Hippogriff, and Phoenix. Each are accompanied by poems from various writers.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
Shelf location: C (SCAMANDER)

Newt Scamander is the fictitious author created by J. K. Rowling for this title, which is part of the “Hogwart’s Library” set. You may find it on the shelf back in children’s fiction, if you’re lucky. However, it is more likely that you will need to join the waiting list, if you want to check it out from the library any time soon.

Happy beast hunting!


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