This book begins (like lots of really great non-fiction books) with a little note about our author. Just who is this guy?
Newton "Newt" Artemis Fido Scamander was born in 1897. Okay, so he's old.
Even as a kid, Newt loved all kinds of magical beasts. His mom actually bred fancy Hippogriffs, which you don't see every day. (Unless you happen to be friends with Hagrid.)
After graduating from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Newt got a job at the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.
He worked in the House-Elf Relocation office (which was about as fun as it sounds), then he got transferred to the Beast Division where his knowledge of bizarre magical creatures really came in handy.
Mr. Scamander is pretty much solely responsible for the creation of the Werewolf Register in 1947.
He's also pretty proud of the Ban on Experimental Breeding, which passed in 1965 and prevented wizards from creating new, untamable monsters. We've gotta admit, it sounds like a pretty smart law.
Mr. Scamander also took a bunch of trips abroad, where he gathered all kinds of information for his worldwide best seller Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the book you're now holding in your hands). It's in its 52nd edition. Pretty impressive.
In 1979, Newt Scamander was awarded the Order of Merlin, Second Class for all his work in Magizoology.
Today, he's retired and lives in Dorset with his wife, Porpentina, and their pet Kneazles. (Wondering what's a Kneazle? You'll find out soon.)