The Tales of Beedle the Bard
No Spoilers (Yey!)
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a cute small book which contains a collection of five short stories originally written and illustrated by J.K. Rowling, author and creator of the Harry Potter series. The standard edition that you see above is based on the handmade version which Rowling had handwritten and illustrated herself.
The stories in The Tales of Beedle the Bard were supposed to be written for wizarding children. So in the Muggle (non-wizard) world, they are the equivalent of our fairy tales or Aesop fables and each story sends out a moral lesson.
The title page includes a transcript that says: Translated from the original runes by Hermione Granger. Harry Potter readers and followers will remember The Tales of Beedle the Bard appearing in the seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The book is bequeathed by Professor Albus Dumbledore to Hermione Granger. It is in one of the stories in the book, The Tale of the Three Brothers, that we are introduced to the Hallows: the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Invisibility Cloak, all three play important roles in the final novel of the series.
But whether you are a Harry Potter follower or not, you’ll enjoy reading the five stories just as much as you’ve enjoyed reading your fairy tales when you were growing up. Just take a look at these titles:
The Wizard and the Hopping Pot
The Fountain of Fair Fortune
The Warlock’s Hairy Heart
Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump
The Tale of the Three Brothers
My favourite is The Fountain of Fair Fortune. There are three witches who are trying to get to the Fountain of Fair Fortune, one is seriously ill, one is very poor and one is heartbroken for being left by her beloved. Only one of them may bathe in the fountain to have his or her problem solved but along the way they are joined by a knight. Although this particular story has a happy ending, there are a couple that have darker themes. But not dark enough to give children nightmares. If your child/ren can get through the deaths in The Three Little Pigs (the version where the Big Bad Wolf eats the first little pig and the second little pig), then they’ll be fine. 🙂
Each story, by the way, has lengthy commentaries from Professor Dumbledore, historical, very informational and includes some of his personal accounts. J.K. Rowling also added footnotes for the sake of Muggle readers. 🙂
For those who are clueless like I was, as to what a bard is, here are the definitions from dictionary.com:
1. (formerly) a person who composed and recited epic or heroic poems, often while playing the harp, lyre, or the like.
2. one of an ancient Celtic order of composers and reciters of poetry.
3. any poet.
4. the bard, William Shakespeare.
If you are in Winnipeg, you might want to get your own copy right now at Superstore where it is one of their top ten best sellers and is now selling at 40% off. That’s only $8.70 Cdn. You can actually easily get a couple of copies, one for yourself and one for the kids. 🙂