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“The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J. K. Rowling

Monday, June 13, 2011 - Book Reading
“The Tales of Beedle the Bard” by J. K. Rowling

Back of the Book:

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.

The stories are accompanied by delightful pen-and-ink illustrations by Ms. Rowling herself, featuring a still-life frontispiece for each one. Professor Dumbledore’s commentary—apparently written some eighteen months before his death—reveals not just his vast knowledge of Wizarding lore, but also more of his personal qualities: his sense of humor, his courage, his pride in his abilities, and his hard-won wisdom. Names familiar from the Harry Potter novels sprinkle the pages, including Aberforth Dumbledore, Lucius Malfoy and his forebears, and Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington (or “Nearly Headless Nick”), as well as other professors at Hogwarts and the past owners of the Elder Wand. Dumbledore tells us of incidents unique to the Wizarding world, like hilariously troubled theatrical productions at Hogwarts or the dangers of having a “hairy heart.” But he also reveals aspects of the Wizarding world that his Muggle readers might find all too familiar, like censorship, intolerance, and questions about the deepest mysteries in life.

From School Library Journal:

Muggles grow up with Grimm’s fairy tales; wizarding children grow up with Tales of Beedle the Bard. The Bard’s book is a collection of five tales, bequeathed to Hermione Granger by Professor Dumbledore. The passing of the book into her hands was intended to be both “entertaining and instructive.” As in all good mysteries, information contained within its pages provided Hermione with clues essential to helping Harry in the series’ last installment. In particular, “The Tale of Three Brothers” describes how three magical items appeared after siblings cleverly cheat death. It is these items that play a pivotal role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic, 2007). Those hoping to re-create the hours of pleasure spent curled up with a J.K. Rowling book may be disappointed at the brevity of this title, but they will undoubtedly enjoy the tales and Dumbledore’s often lengthy, cynical-but-wise commentary on each one.
Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL

Pages: 109

Published: 2007-12-04

Format Read: real book

[xrr rating=5/5]

The very worst thing about this book is it’s length. Granted, it’s only a few fairy tales, but I was hoping for something longer. Anything to keept me in the world of magic that Rowling created.

The very best thing about this book is how entertaining and interesting the stories are to even those who haven’t read the Harry Potter books. If you haven’t already read these stories, pick up a copy of the book and get started. You’ll hold on to this for when you have kids and they ask for a bedtime story.

Challenges:

This book will be placed under the 2011 Fantasy Reading Challenge, the Harry Potter 2011 Book Challenge, the iChallenges 2011, and the The TwentyEleven Challenge.

Occasionally Important Information:

"Life as We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J. K. Rowling

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