Fantastic Beasts in Harry Potter and More!
JK Rowling announced recently that she'll be penning the script for a new movie set in the Harry Potter world, based on her book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Published in 2001, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is written as though it is a textbook from the wizarding world - Harry's textbook, in point of fact (Harry buys it in Diagon Alley in the first novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone), complete with scribbles in the margins.
According to Harry Potter lore, the "textbook" was written by Newt Scamander, a Hufflepuff born in 1897. Newt's grandson, Rolf, even marries Luna Lovegood sometime after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. But Rowling (and Scamander) don't have a monopoly on stories about unusual creatures. Here are few more books about beasties of all shapes and sizes, to tide you over until Fantastic Beasts comes to the big screen.
In Handbook For Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell, thirteen-year-old Princess Matilda is writing her own book to distract herself from her tedious, princessly duties and the nasty gossip in the palace about her lame foot and the cane she uses to get around. But when her treacherous, scheming cousin steals her land out from under her, Matilda goes on the run with two would-be dragon slayers, befriending magical horses and dodging dragon flames, all the while making notes in her book about the dragons she meets. Her life of adventure isn't carefree, however - her people still need her, and Matilda is learning more about how to be a leader than she ever did before.
If mermaids are more your fancy, try Liz Kessler's The Tail of Emily Windsnap. Twelve-year-old Emily lives with just her mother. When she begins taking swimming lessons, something astonishing happens - Emily grows a mermaid's tail anytime she's completely submerged! But somehow even stranger, Emily's mother can't remember anything that might help Emily understand her new form, not even who Emily's father is, or if he might hold the key to this mystery. Emily's adventures continue across several books, the most recent being Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun.
A Monster Calls, written by Patrick Ness, blends real life drama with monster mayhem when thirteen-year-old Connor's mother falls ill and, at the same time, Connor begins to be visited by a giant, tree-like monster who will cause chaos until Connor faces the truth about his life. Beautifully written and illustrated, this is a must-read for any kids dealing with loss, illness, or heartache.
Chelsey would like on pet dragon, please. She thinks that fire-breathing habit would be great for making s'mores.