Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, A Review

Rowling, J. K. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Standard Edition. London: Bloomsbury, 2008. xvii, 108 p. illustrated.

I have always been a fan of fairy tales. When I was a child I would read them for hours on end; Rumplestiltskin was always a favorite, so was The Shoemaker and the Elves. So, when I heard that JK Rowling was going to be publishing The Tales of Beedle the Bard I got very excited. The Tales of Beedle the Bard was mentioned in the Harry Potter novels and was studied at Hogwarts School. The book itself is said to be translated by Hermione Granger from ancient runes.

There are five fairy tales in this book; The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock's Hairy Heart, Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump, and The Tale of the Three Brothers. All the fairy tales are annotated with footnotes by Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, the late headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Each fairy tale also features a full analysis by Dumbledore.

The five fairy tales found in this book are basically morality tales, as are all fairy tales. While they could stand alone, having a knowledge of the Harry Potter novels is probably helpful. My favorite story is Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump. It reminds me a lot of The Emperor's New Suit by Hans Christian Andersen. The notes by Professor Dumbledore are entertaining and tie the fairy tales to the Harry Potter books.

I enjoyed this book. It reminds me of the Harry Potter books and how enjoyable the whole series was. It adds some background to the stories and, as I said, they could stand alone. However, I don't see them replacing The Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson, or even Aesop. But, they are entertaining.

Proceeds from the book go to JK Rowling's charity Children's High Level Group which helps abandoned, poor, and disabled children.

1 comment:

In The Doghouse said...

Oh my goodness, am out of the loop? I didn't even realize JK Rowling had written a new book! Thank you for this great review, I will have to go and get a copy to read for myself.