Mini Book Review: The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K Rowling

 

‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard contains five richly diverse fairy tales, each with its own magical character, that will variously bring delight, laughter and the thrill of mortal peril. 

Additional notes for each story penned by Professor Albus Dumbledore will be enjoyed by Muggles and wizards alike, as the Professor muses on the morals illuminated by the tales, and reveals snippets of information about life at Hogwarts. ‘

This is a lovingly designed little book, perfect to pick up if you feel the need for a quick ‘Potter fix’. The five fairy tales themselves are well written and engaging, particularly The Fountain of Fair Fortune and The Tale of the Three Brothers (beautifully animated in the films). I can easily imagine witches and wizard reading these as bedtime stories to their children in J.K’s world.

Unfortunately they are very short stories, which feels about the right length for each one, but altogether, doesn’t provide much in the way of reading. This is a very slim volume, only 100 pages, and the majority of which is actually taken up by Dumbledore’s notes after each story – most of which I felt were unnecessary as they tended to either explain each fairy tale or provide little information that any Harry Potter fan wouldn’t already know from reading the books. Dumbledore’s musings also felt, in some places, simply out of character.

Ultimately this is a nice little read but slightly disappointing considering what J.K Rowling could have done with it. This only took me half an hour to finish and I would have liked to have seen many more stories, especially as I did very much enjoy the five that were included (at least one other tale is referenced twice but we never get to read it).

Dumbledore’s notes had a few interesting tidbits of information, but I wanted more. We all know how many notes and back-stories and secondary characters J.K Rowling has hidden away concerning the Harry Potter universe – and it would have been great to have been given some more insight. I can’t help but feel the only reason they were there was to try to bulk the book out a bit.

It does have a lovely design, and a percentage of the money from each purchase goes towards the Children’s High Level Group. Along with Rowling’s talent for weaving a wonderful story, and the mention of a beloved character or two, these are reasons enough to pick this one up. But I have to be honest when I say it was a little lacking in substance.

‘My Maiden aunt, Honoria, always alleged that she called of her engagement to a wizard in the Improper Use of Magic Office because she discovered in time that, ‘he had a hairy heart’. (It was rumoured, however, that she actually discovered him in the act of fondling some Horklumps, (1) which she found deeply shocking.)

(1) Horklumps are pink, bristly mushroom-like creatures. It is very difficult to see why anyone would want to fondle them.’

~ page 60

Recommended Reading Age: 8+

6/10

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