This book review is for Calling All Witches! The Girls Who Left Their Mark on the Wizarding World published by Scholastic in 2019. This book is part of the Harry Potter Wizarding World collection. It is credited to Laurie Calkhoven & Violet Tobacco. It currently has 4 stars average on Goodreads.
For all the girls as clever as Hermione Granger, as strong as Leta Lestrange, and as fierce as Minerva McGonagall, this incredible compendium is packed with the stories of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts’ extraordinary heroines! Besides the series’ best-known characters, get to know the female mentors, founders, rule-breakers, and — yes, even villains like Bellatrix Lestrange and Vinda Rosier — who made the wizarding world what it is today.
Complete with gorgeous, full-color illustrations and photography from iconic movie moments on every spread, fans will love this colorful romp with the most empowering witches of our age. Explore the many ways these women built, enriched, and saved the wizarding world, and get inspired by their stories in this compelling handbook–a must-have for fans!
This book features the women of the Harry Potter series. From the major to minor characters, this book is split into thematic chapters. Both sides of the Wizarding World are shown, including characters such as the obnoxious, dogmatic Professor Umbridge or the evil, insane Deatheater Bellatrix Lestrange. It does include professors at Hogwarts and new additions to the Wizarding World such as the Fantastic Beasts characters.
In my view, the strength of this book is in its delightful illustrations. The image below shows an example of the layout of the book.
Essentially, a character is introduced alongside a full-color drawn image with symbols related to their story. Some characters get full pages and some are grouped together in themes like Dumbledore’s Army. As shown below, there is a passage about Hermione and her contributions to the Harry Potter canon. Each gets some sort of depiction about their unique contributions or characteristics; as shown with Hermione, the author assesses her to be “intelligent, gifted, brave.” Of course, it is not a full coverage of the character and sometimes it seems a bit surface level, but keeping in mind the age/reading level of the book, as well as its aims, it is meant to be more of a children’s book than anything. Keeping it simple and straightforward is really the whole point. But I mean… if it got extended into a deeper character analysis, I think it would be amazing.
This is a short read, but visually beautiful. It is something that I would suggest for fans of the Harry Potter series. This is also a great read geared toward young readers, as it is engaging and relates to a popular series. All ages, however, will be delighted if they are big fans of the Harry Potter series. The illustrations are amazing, and I love the layout idea. I read this book on an ebook reader and was still impressed by the visuals, so I would be optimistic and say that it definitely will look good IRL as a physical hardback copy.