Monday, December 15, 2008

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Tales of Beedle the Bard
By J.K.Rowling (Author's Website)
Publisher: Children's High Level Group (CHLG)
Published on December 2008
ISBN-13: 9780747599876
128 pages

Excerpt from the 'Introduction' (p. xi): The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of stories written for young wizards and witches. They have been popular bedtime reading for centuries, with the result that Hopping Pot and the Fountain of Fair Fortune are as familiar to many of the students at Hogwarts as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are to Muggle (non-magical) children.

There is a collection of five tales in this delightful little volume by J.K.Rowling:
  1. The Wizard and the Hopping Pot
  2. The Fountain of Fair Fortune
  3. The Warlock's Hairy Heart
  4. Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump
  5. The Tale of the Three Brothers

What makes the book even more interesting is the comprehensive commentary after each story, including extensive footnotes, by Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore (my favourite guy apart from Potter, of course). Professor Dumbledore brings to the collection his unique perspective from the viewpoint of a wizard.

My favourite stories are "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" (it is a slightly dark tale) and "Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump." Through the latter story, I found out that magic could not bring back the dead. In "The Tale of the Three Brothers" I also had fun learning about the making of the 'unbeatable' wand made of elder after referring to Professor Dumbledore's notes.

This is a short, quick and fun read. It would be better enjoyed if this book is read after completing all the seven books in the HP series. It would bring more meaning and depth to the stories, according to most readers. As for me, I have yet to finish the last three HP books, but I enjoyed this nonetheless. It would also be nice for parents and children to read this together to enjoy the stories as well as important life lessons. The lessons are conveyed in a clear, simple, and direct manner such as team work, valuing ourselves for who and what we are, and the use and abuse of power (including dark arts).

Apart from pleasure derived from reading this book, readers are also contributing to charity because the sale proceeds will go to The Children's Voice campaign--more about it at the bottom of this post.

I found it quite cute that the bookstore staff had tried to warn me at the cashier that The Tales of Beedle the Bard is not HP book eight. Apparently a lot of customers thought so. I assured the kind lady I knew what I was getting myself into. I had fun reading this!

Do check out the following review(s) too:
The Children's Voice Campaign
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is published by The Children’s High Level Group (CHLG), registered charity number 1112575, a charity co-founded in 2005 by J.K. Rowling and Emma Nicholson MEP to make life better for vulnerable children.

All net proceeds from the sale will be donated to The Children's Voice campaign.

The Children's Voice campaign is run by CHLG. It campaigns for child rights across Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe where over a million children and teenagers are growing up in institutions, often in unacceptable conditions. In most cases they are without adequate human or emotional contact and stimulation, while many only just survive without life's basics such as adequate shelter and food.

CHLG's Children's Voice campaign helps around a quarter of a million children each year through education activities; outreach work in institutions; and a dedicated telephone and email help line.