November 30, 2014

Review - Harry Potter: The Creature Vault: The Creatures and Plants of the Harry Potter Films by Joy Revenson

Harry Potter: The Creature Vault: The Creatures and Plants of the Harry Potter Films
Author: Joy Revenson
Genre: YA Reference/Art/Fantasy
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Harper Design


Dementors and House-elves, merpeople and Chinese Fireball Dragons--these are just a few of the magical creatures and frightening monsters populating J. K. Rowling's wizarding world. Harry Potter: The Creature Vault is a fascinating look at how this menagerie was brought to life for the blockbuster Harry Potter film series. Detailed profiles of each creature include rare concept illustrations, behind-the-scenes photography, and filmmaking secrets from the Warner Bros. archive. A removable poster picturing each of the creatures and an interactive Eeylops Owl Emporium catalog complete this must-have package.


Harry Potter: The Creature Vault: The Creatures and Plants of the Harry Potter Films is a magnificent collection of information, fun facts, and great images that any fan of the Harry Potter series or movies will want to get their hands on. The book is set up like an encyclopedia, with the creatures and plants divided up into separate categories, like where they can be found (water, air, forest, etc.). There are tons of different creatures and plants in throughout the book that fans may have forgotten about or have wondered about - and we get the inside scoop on them all. Each entry in the book has a detailed description of the creature/plant, as well as any interesting facts from the movies or books. Along with the fascinating narrative, the entries also contain a text box somewhere on the page that gives you quick and fun facts. Aside from the text, there are magnificent concept images that were taken straight from the sets of the movies. They show the different ideas on how the creature or plant should look - the color, varying characteristics, size, etc. There are quite a few of these concept drawings for each entry and I found them all to be amazingly beautiful. I've never seen any "behind the scenes" information from the movies before (or any movie really), so being able to see these designs and ideas that allowed the creatures and plants come to life on screen was an enchanting experience. On top of these drawings and the text, there are images taken from the movies themselves that show the subject of the entry and tells you where/when the picture was taken from. Luckily, I was able to find some of the images and pictures on the Internet, so you could at least get an idea of what I'm talking about.
It's incredibly hard to describe a book like this and be able to capture the sheer magic that emanates from its pages. When I first received the book, I sat down and just slowly went through, page by page, and looked at all the drawings and pictures and read some of the quick facts and captions. I was in awe. I don't even know how long I sat there staring at the pages - I'm sure it was well over an hour. When I went back the second time and read every single piece of text and poured over the images again, I was lost to the world and pulled right back into Harry's world. I literally read the book in a state of wonder and delight. I really can't portray what the book is like to look at and read - no words seem to be enough to convey how incredible it is. I'm a die-hard Harry Potter fan, so this book was (and will remain) a treasure to me. I know I'll be re-reading it and just looking through at the pictures and drawings so many times that it'll probably fall apart. I cannot recommend this book high enough, especially to fans of the Harry Potter series and/or the movies. This is a definite must have for Harry lovers like myself. The only thing that could be better would be a full encyclopedia of every creature, plant, object, places, words, slang, etc. that make an appearance in the books. I know that this is a huge order and the end product would be enormous, but it would be one of the most amazing books ever written, I'm sure. I have heard rumors that one of these might be in the works... but I'll try not to get my hopes up too high. I want to emphasize one last time that this book is nothing short of amazing and anyone who loves Harry Potter and his world should get their hands on a copy. NOW. I swear you'll love it!
Absolutely EPIC! A Must Have for Any Harry Potter Fan!

Jody Revenson has written extensively about the Harry Potter films, with her most recent books being "Harry Potter: The Creature Vault," and the upcoming "Harry Potter: The Book of Magical Places" and "Harry Potter: The Character Vault." In her first foray into the wizarding world, she edited and contributed to the New York Times bestsellers "Harry Potter: Film Wizardry" (penning its updated version and App) and "Harry Potter: Page to Screen," as well as the Harry Potter Poster Collections "Quintessential Images" and "Definitive Posters." For the "Harry Potter: Page to Screen Limited Edition," she wrote "The Paintings of Hogwarts," "The Creature Shop Compendium," "Movie Magic: Practical Props and Exciting Effects," "Environments Envisioned: Building Fantastic Sets and Scouting Dramatic Locations," "Wizard Wear & Muggle Attire," and "Ten Years Later: Life On Set with the Harry Potter Cast and Crew." She believes she would be a Ravenclaw.

Jody has also written in the Walt Disney world, especially for and about Disneyland and Walt Disney World with such books as "Popping Up Around Walt Disney World," "Disneyland Challenge," and eight years of souvenir books for both parks. For Disney's live-action films, she co-authored "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Pirate's Guidelines" and "Treasure Planet: A Voyage of Discovery." Early in her career, Jody wrote for DC Comics on the Looney Tunes and Tiny Toons comic books, and for MAD Magazine. Her screenplay "Rap Tap Tap" was filmed and shown on HBO.

Jody was raised by a pack of folksingers in the town of Massapequa on Long Island, New York, and currently lives in New York City. A graduate of New York University, she also attended Northwestern University and Berklee College of Music, where she fronted the rock bands Jody Retro & the Rockets and Jack Damage; and spent ten years in the film business in Hollywood, California, which was an education in itself. (Information taken from the author's Amazon page.)

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I want to send a HUGE thank you to the wonderful people at Harper Design for sending me a copy of the book for review!

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