Reviews for Sorcerer's Companion : A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter


BookPage Reviews 2001 November
Nothing's hotter than Harry Potter

In anticipation of the November 16 film release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, book sales for the best-selling series are rising faster than Harry's Nimbus Two Thousand broomstick in a championship Quidditch match. The paperback version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban recently shot to the No.1 spot on the bestseller lists, and author J. K. Rowling must be asking herself, Does it get any better than this?

We'll soon find out because the witching hour is almost upon us, and we may all be in danger of falling under the spell of this film based on the first book in Rowling's fantasy phenomenon. Director Chris Columbus (no less) set out to discover the U.K. and preserve the story's British flair. True to the book, the cast and shooting locations are completely British. Daniel Radcliff as Harry is surrounded by Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane and John Cleese.

If you want to know more about the woman behind the myth, pick up J. K. Rowling: The Genius Behind Harry Potter by Sean Smith. It is the rags-to-riches story of the quiet, shy, single mother whose dream world of imagination transformed her life and created some of the most popular characters in contemporary fiction.

Scholastic Books is offering several ways for Muggle children to enter Harry's magic world, including a sneak preview of 15 movie stills in The Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Movie Poster Book. Another choice is a magical 3-D, two-story, pop-up carousel, Harry Potter Hogwarts School. With nine punch-out characters, pull tabs, movable pieces and secret passageways, it gives the wizard school "real" appeal. To relive the adventures of six of the key scenes in the saga, open up Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: A Deluxe Pop-up Book. Deluxe is the key word for both books, and each one has plenty of pop-ups, pull tabs and 3-D components for hours of interactive fun. Last but not least, Muggles have access to two of the classic books from the Hogwarts library in a boxed hardcover set: Harry Potter Schoolbooks: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages. Written by Rowling under the pseudonyms Newt Scamander and Kennilworthy Whisp, both books are designed to look like Harry's actual textbooks with silly scribblings from Harry, Ron and Hermione. Proceeds from the set will go to improving and saving the lives of children around the world.

Add to your Hogwarts reference library with The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter by Allan Zola Kronzek and Elizabeth Kronzek, a father and daughter team who share a love of magic, history and Harry Potter. Topics in the book range from arithmancy (Hermoine's favorite form of divination) to zombies, as the authors reveal the origins of potions, spells, hippogriffs, wands, boggarts, broomsticks and much more. In The Sorcerer's Companion, discover the true history of Nicholas Flamel and find out how the Sorcerer's Stone got its power. A note at the end of each section shows readers where to find the reference in the Harry Potter books. Even Professor Quirrell would be impressed.

If you have lost or loaned your copy, or (gasp!) never even read Harry Potter, then you need the Harry Potter Boxed Set: Books 1-4. These hardcover editions make Harry's literary magic more lasting, so your children's children can enjoy this fantasy series destined to become a classic. Gryffindors forever! Copyright 2001 BookPage Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 September #2
Father/daughter team Allan Zola Kronzek and Elizabeth Kronzek target the wizard's mature fans with The Sorcerer's Companion: A Guide to the Magical World of Harry Potter. Each alphabetically organized entry contains a potent blend of fact, fiction and folklore. The "Broomstick" entry, for instance, details the effects of a purported "flying ointment" that witches rub into their brooms to prepare for takeoff. The section on "The Sorcerer's Stone" explains the ancient Egyptian art of alchemy. A note at the end of each section shows readers where to find the reference in the Harry Potter books. Thorough research and period prints combine to create a memorable book. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 December
Gr 4 Up-Anyone who thinks that grims, grindylows, hinkypunks, and hippogriffs were invented by J. K. Rowling will be surprised by this offering. Each of the 84 alphabetical entries describes a subject studied (arithmancy, divination), an object used (wand, cauldron), or a creature that appears in at least one of the Potter books, including a specific reference to the title, chapter, and page number. Then, using references from ancient, medieval, and modern literature, legend, mythology, and religion (almost 100 sources are listed in the extensive bibliography), each entry goes on to describe where, when, and how that subject, object, or creature has also been part of Western history, literature, or oral tradition. Most entries are from one to three pages long, with some notable exceptions-12 pages on magic and 14 on magicians throughout history. A fascinating history of the uses and abuses of medieval alchemy is buried within the article on the sorcerer's stone, but most subjects are easy to find. Sidebars highlight specific aspects in detail-the mummy's curse, alchemical frauds, animals on trial. More than half of the entries are illustrated with black-and-white drawings, woodcuts, or reproductions. The material is interesting and informative, easy to read, and fairly wide-ranging. The same readers who can't get enough of Harry Potter will enjoy learning about arithmancy, spell casting, and much more here, while waiting anxiously for the next Rowling novel to appear.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2002 February
This literary guide explores the history behind all of the fantastic and mystical elements mentioned in the four Harry Potter novels. Alphabetical and encyclopedic in its design, it should be browsed randomly, rather than read straight through. Typical entries include objects (talismans and charms), lots of magic (hexes, curses, spells, and potions), crafts (astrology, rune casting, palmistry), and a full zoo of creatures (dragons, giants, grindylows, balilisks, and veelas). These features only scratch the surface of what is covered in the book. All subjects are briefly compared and contrasted as the history of each is traced. Helpful to Potter-philes is a code at the end of each entry that directs the reader to the particular Rowling novel and exact page number wherein the subject is mentioned. The elder Kronzek in this father/daughter team is a frequent lecturer on the elementary school circuit, and together they produce an attractive text, easily accessible to the young reader. The layout of the book is enhanced with illustrations and woodcuts, many dating back to sixteenth-century works. Its bibliography is equally impressive, citing more than one hundred sources from historical to Web based. The guide is an entertaining overview of European lore and mythology. One cannot help but appreciate the extensive research that J. K. Rowling delved into to incorporate such a variety of creatures and crafts into her work. Some parents, however, might have reservations about the easy manner in which this book instructs and perhaps legitimizes some of the crafts it explores, such as reading tea leaves, doing numerology, and casting spells. Nevertheless this book is a match for circulating collections in which the Potter books are popular.-Kevin Beach. Illus. Biblio. 4Q 4P M J S Copyright 2002 Voya Reviews

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