[EN] The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling

Title: The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release date: 2008
Pages: 109


*'In the fond hope, my son, that you will never need it.'*

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 wizerds alike as the Professor nurses on the morals illuminated by the tales, and reveals snippets of information about life at Hogwarts.
A uniquely magical volume, with illustrations by the author, J.K. Rowling, that will be treasured for years to come.

 *But which f us would have shown the wisdom of the third brother, if offered to pick of Death's gifts? Wizards and muggles alike are imbued with a lust for power; how many would resist 'the Wand of Destiny'? Which human being, having lost someone they loved, could withstand the temptation of the Resurrection Stone?*


I received The Tales of Beedle the Bard for my birthday last year, but I wanted to make it last as long as I could so I had only read the first two tales. The Challenge des 4 maisons, hosted by Bulle de mots, seemed to be the perfect opportunity to read it and I was not able to put it down before I had finished it.
There are two levels on which the book can be read: the tales themselves, of course, but the context is maybe even more interesting. J.K. Rowling introduces us to a piece of wizarding culture and manages to make the Harry Potter universe even more real. It is a book that Ron might have read when he was a boy, that most wizards know, and that Dumbledore himself researched, as shown by the “historical” notes.
Harry Potter fans are of course familiar with the Tale of the Three Brothers, featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but reading the whole story without the context of the war makes one pay attention to details that would not have been noticed otherwise. The explanatory notes also give it another dimension which might interest older readers, while the younger will focus on the story.
Five different tales are gathered in the 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 Tales of the Three brothers”. All of them have a moral which can be compared to that of muggle traditional fairy tales… with a few differences regarding the use of magic. One of the recurring themes is the relationship between muggles and wizards, which I can imagine would be important in some families.
Tales are important in a child’s life and culture and this is true in the muggle world as well as in the wizarding world. Good will usually prevail against evil, but it is not a general rule, as we can see in “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart”. If you think about the brothers Grimm, Andersen or Perrault’s tales however, you will soon notice that they can be rather violent too (their original version at least, before they were adapted to be suitable for children at least).
In this short book, J.K. Rowling gathers all the main ingredients for a successful collection of tales: magic and unusual characters or occurrences, moral elements, symbolic aspects… and the fact that each story can be read on several levels, by children or by adults.

* In short *

A nice collection of tales which will no doubt delight children and adults alike. A must read for all the wizarding fans.

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