Picks and Pans Review: Spotlight On...
According to his biographical
page, Newt Scamander, author of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, "lives in Dorset with his wife, Porpentina, and their pet Kneazles: Hoppy, Milly and Mauler." But Newt is just another figment of the magical imagination of J.K. Rowling, who is serving up two snacks for Harry Potter fans hungry for the fifth book in her series about the boy wizard. Rowling and her publishers will donate proceeds from the slim Beasts, a guide to critters that populate the series, and Quidditch Through the Ages, a history of the sport played by broomstick-mounted wizards, to the charity Comic Relief U.K. (not related to the U.S.'s Comic Relief). Such celebs as Hugh Grant, Steve Martin and Mark Wahlberg are spreading the word by posing in Potter-y specs. The books' inside references (they re-create Harry's school texts, complete with doodles) and wry mock-scholarly tone should delight Potter-philes of all ages. And at last the scoop on the Loch Ness monster: It's a kelpie—a shape-shifting water demon—that "appears to have developed a positive thirst for publicity." (Scholastic, $3.99 each)
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