Title: Harry Potter: Cinematic Guide
Author: Felicity Baker
Genre: Fantasy, Children, Movie Tie-in
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
In this short book, readers are reminded of Harry Potter’s story and some key events from the movies.
This was a book that was given to me by a local community member, and I was very excited to read!
My feelings and thoughts about this book is very torn. On the one hand, I love Harry Potter, both the books and movies (books first, of course!), so almost anything Harry Potter related can be enjoyable for me. However, the quality of the book makes me second guess on my review and rating.
What I did enjoy were the photos used throughout the book. It was nice seeing different scenes from all the movies and test to see if I remember those scenes. Also, I really enjoyed the pictures that showed how the main characters grew and changed over the years. All of it just reminded me how much I loved the movies and would absolutely watch them again!
Keeping in mind this guide is meant for the younger crowd, the language was fairly simple to read. This I can set aside, however, the order of events were a bit odd. The book is split into sections/chapters, but nothing is in sequential order, even within the same section/chapter of the book. In turn, some of the information provided is repeated, which is usually unnecessary.
The other aspect that was off-putting is that I found the book less of a cinematic guide and more of a poorly done synopsis of the eight movies. I’m not exactly sure where the “guide” part comes into play. Maybe a synopsis can be thought of a guide, but one would hope that there would be more of an explanation about the movies themselves. For instance, how Quidditch was done, how were they able to make some of the fantastical animals come to life, etc. In addition, there were some essential pieces of information missing. For instance, the horcruxes, learning about Tom Riddle, etc. The horcruxes, especially, is an essential part of the whole story since that’s how Voldemort is ultimately killed. One could argue that this a dark aspect of the movies to talk about, but Harry Potter isn’t exactly a sweet and endearing bedtime story, especially toward the end of the series for youngsters. This book does tie in the seventh and eighth movies, and alludes to the fact that Harry kills Voldement, so it doesn’t seem to make any sense to not include more about the horcruxes and the antagonist. Although, this could be expecting too much from a short children’s guide. Not really sure. All I know is that I wanted something more.
As a side note, when the author mentions how Harry still has time to “have fun” and attend parties, I almost couldn’t believe my eyes. His last-minute date, who he ends up ignoring and doesn’t actually want to be with at the Yule Ball, I wouldn’t consider a fun party that Harry still has time for to attend. It more of he had to go and dance with a partner since he was a champion in the Goblet of Fire and just ended up spending the rest of the time with Ron. It’s a small detail, but one that isn’t accurate or even true.
Overall, this was a quick and enjoyable little book, but it does lack sequential order and some key elements of the movies.
Those who are Harry Potter fans may enjoy this little read, but it is better suited for youngsters who have seen the Harry Potter movies or have read the books.