Study Guide

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Youth

By J.K. Rowling

Youth

Newt's masterpiece has been an approved textbook at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry ever since its publication and must take a substantial amount of credit for our students' consistently high results in Care of Magical Creatures examinations. (2.1)

Kids love Newt Scamander. Well, as much as they can love any textbook. Dumbledore makes it clear here that many young people have grown up with this book and go on to use it in their homes as adults.

I look back across the years to the seven-year-old wizard who spent hours in his bedroom dismembering Horklumps and I envy him the journeys to come: from darkest jungle to brightest desert, from mountain peak to marshy bog, that grubby Horklump-encrusted boy would track, as he grew up, the beasts described in the following pages. (3.1)

Aww, little Newt Scamander. Here our author reflects on his own youth and how he first became interested in fantastic beasts. Like most adults with a passion for their work, his love for magical creatures started as a child. Still, there's something a little unsettling about him dismembering Horklumps in his bedroom for hours though. Go outside and play, Newt.

In the meantime I will merely add that it affords me great pleasure to think that generations of young witches and wizards have grown to a fuller knowledge and understanding of the fantastic beasts I love through the pages of this book. (7.2)

Sure, Newt wanted to write a comprehensive guide to fantastic beasts, but what really warms his heart is that kids will be reading this and learning about these awesome creatures for the first time in these pages. Hey, we've got to admit, that's pretty magical.

Those who have been stung by a Billywig suffer giddiness followed by levitation. Generations of young Australian witches and wizards have attempted to catch Billywigs and provoke them into stinging in order to enjoy these side effects, though too many stings may cause the victim to hover uncontrollably for days on end. (10.5)

Aww, this is too adorable. We just picture super-cute Australian kids floating around giggling after Billywig stings. Sounds like a lot more fun than catching fireflies after dark.

It is larger than a gnome (three feet high on average), with a pointed face and a high-pitched cackle that is particularly entrancing to children, whom it will attempt to lure away from their guardians and eat. Strict controls by the German Ministry of Magic, however, have reduced Erkling killings dramatically over the last few centuries and the last known Erkling attack, upon the six-year-old wizard Bruno Schmidt, resulted in the death of the Erkling when Master Schmidt hit it very hard over the head with his father's collapsible cauldron. (13.1)

It's not really a surprise that there are some magical creatures that would specifically target children. Kids are small and tend to be more trusting of weird little creatures than adults. That's probably why lots of Muggle fairy tales and folklore are presented as warnings to children to watch out for magical creatures—you never know what they'll do. It's best to stay close to mom and dad in the meantime.

Muggles have a great weakness for fairies, which feature in a variety of tales written for their children. These "fairy tales" involve winged beings with distinct personalities and the ability to converse as humans (though often in a nauseatingly sentimental fashion). Fairies, as envisaged by the Muggle, inhabit tiny dwellings fashioned out of flower petals, hollowed-out toadstools, and similar. They are often depicted as carrying wands. Of all magical beasts the fairy might be said to have received the best Muggle press. (14.1)

Mr. Scamander speaks the truth—Muggle kids do love fairies. Just look at Tinkerbell and her friends. They're so sweet and cute and pretty, what's not to love?

Except for the fact that those depictions are, apparently, all lies. (It wouldn't be the first time adults have gotten something wrong.)

If food is left out in the garden for a hedgehog, it will accept and enjoy the gift; if food is offered to a Knarl, on the other hand, it will assume that the householder is attempting to lure it into a trap and will savage that householder's garden plants or garden ornaments. Many a Muggle child has been accused of vandalism when an offended Knarl was the real culprit. (19.5)

Poor Muggle kids. Always getting blamed for everything. In this case, a Knarl is the cause of the damage but, since Muggles don't believe magical creatures exist, it's much more sensible to blame their offspring. It's tough being a kid sometimes.

It is a docile creature that has no objection to being cuddled or thrown about. Easy to care for, it emits a low humming noise when contented […] This tendency has made the Puffskein much beloved by wizarding children for many generations and it remains a highly popular wizarding pet. (24.7)

Wizard kids need to have some magical pets, right? The Puffeskein is the perfect one because it doesn't mind being roughhoused a little. Perfect for kids at play.