Monday, December 8, 2008

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

I recently made a trip to the book store and purchased several books for my daughter for her birthday. One of them, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, by J. K. Rowling, was really a book for me, and it was only loosely disguised as a book for my daughter.

The book has already been reviewed by Amanda here.

The book does give great background and explanation for questions that I had after reading each of the books in the Harry Potter series. Each story has commentary by Albus Dumbledore in which he outlines the historical criticism of each wizarding fairy tale. He also gives some context for where each of these stories fits into wizarding history. And Rowling includes her own footnotes in the text as well.

The five stories which were newly translated from the ancient runes by Hermione Granger were "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." I especially liked the two stories "The Fountain of Fair Fortune" and "The Tale of Three Brothers." In the first of these, Beedle tells the story of four who travel to find favor from the titled fountain which they all hope will bring them good fortune. The second of these, which has previously been told in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is the story of three brothers who seek the wand, cloak, and stone of death. What I particularly liked about this tale is Dumbledore's commentary on the story, and that Rowling comments that he "reveals a little less than he knows -or suspects" about this story.

I have not read each of the HP books as extensively as Amanda has, since I have read each of the books 1 through 5 only twice (or maybe 3 times in the case of the first 2), and the last two one time only. Therefore, I am left at the end of reading this book wanting to start back at the beginning of the series to re-read the whole thing again.


Amanda said...

Haha, I doubt there are too many people out there who are as insane as I am in number of reads for the HP series. :) I'm glad I'm not the only fan on 5-squared though.

Did the book end up being a good one for your daughter?

Trixie said...

I haven't read it to her yet. I wanted to read it first myself - there are some I think I will wait to read to her, and others I might try. For example, I think The Warlock's Hairy Heart would be too scary for her. She actually gets frightened easily and likes to have a lot of pictures. If there are no pictures, she will force me to turn the page. So we may have to wait on this one. But I certainly enjoyed it!

Amanda said...

Yeah I figured the hairy heart story might be too much. Well at least you have the stories for when she's older, right?

Trixie said...

Oh definitely I think she will grow into them. We read the Lorax tonight (my first time too as I've said elsewhere) and she was rapt. So it won't be long.