Joan Rowling, the writer who created the world-famous Harry Potter Series, wrote Fantastic Beasts back in 2001 as some sort of a textbook about all the magical beasts and creatures from Harry's world, including the ones that he and his friends had to deal with. It's actually the boy's copy of the book mentioned once in the very first Potter book, the Philosopher's Stone, that first hit the shelves in 1997.
It comes with numerous notes made by Ron, Hermione and the young wizard himself, describing their experiences with some of the creatures that are found in the textbook and some inside jokes for the hardcore fans. Rowling said in an interview that the idea to write a whole novel about the creatures from the Potter universe felt natural to her, as the series is rich with all kinds of fascinating beasts that simply had to get a book of their own.
Surprisingly enough, Rowling is not mentioned as the author of the book; instead, all the credits go out to Newt Scamander, who - allegedly - wrote the novel. In the Potter universe, the Fantastic Beasts book is a must-have for year-one students at Hogwarts and is like the Wikipedia that teaches about the various beasts that live in the world. By the way, Fantastic Beasts are about to dominate the big screen later this year. In November 18th, to be precise.
Newt will be the main character, with all the beasts getting a fair share of the on-screen time. As for the book, the critics really liked it and the Harry Potter fans loved it for showing another side of their favorite series and describing 85 magical creatures of all shapes and sizes. It's an amazing addition to an already huge world of Harry Potter and will be a great gift for a die-hard fan.