Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on December 4th 2008
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 TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD is the last book in the Hogwarts Library set (seriously, Rowling, where is my Hogwarts, A History already?) This is also the last Harry Potter review for the month of September, an important month in Potter canon. So here we are, our last Potter review (for now). But trust me, I have plenty more to talk about in the future.
Like the original version of FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, this Hogwarts Library book features character commentary. Where in BEASTS the commentary was in handwritten notes from Harry and Ron (and sometimes Hermione), this book features the commentary of one Albus Dumbledore with each of the 5 stories.
Now Rowling has stated that when she originally created the Tales in her mind there were upwards of 20 (see her interview with Pottercast) once she decided to write them out each by hand 5 times she decided that there where indeed only the five Ron mentions in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The Warlock’s Hairy Heart, Babbity Rabbity and the Cackling Stump, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Three Brothers, and The Wizard and the Hopping Pot.
Now, The Wizard and the Hopping Pot reminds me very strongly of the children’s story Streganona for some reason. I don’t know if it’s the magic pot or what, but it’s all I think of when I read the story. It’s also one of the more forgettable ones, along with Fountain of Fair Fortune.
Babbity Rabbity and the Cackling Stump is weird, and Rowling admits she had no idea what the story would be when she gave Ron that title. It’s a fun story with a good moral, something I could very much see a wizard reading to their child, unless they’re a Malfoy.
My favorite story is the Warlock’s Hairy Heart, the most gruesome story in the book that definitely resembles a Edgar Allan Poe short story. It’s gothic and creepy, and everything I love in this sort of story. I can totally imagine it as part of a wizarding version of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark!
Then of course there is the Tale of the Three Brothers, which is repeated in its entirety from Deathly Hallows. I love this story, but I often ignore it as part of this book because of its inclusion in DH. So really we only get 4 new stories, and I really wish there were one or two more to fill the book out a bit.
This books is fun, but it’s also the most childish of the Hogwarts Library books. This makes sense, as they are wizarding children’s stories. Still, I wanted a bit more, not necessarily in quality but in quantity. The book is so short and I wanted a few more tales to enjoy.
I recommend this book for a quick read in the Potterverse. New fans and old will enjoy it, but I don’t think it’s a book to reread often in its entirety.
What did you think of TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD? Share in the comments.
From my shelf to yours,