Book Review: The Tales of Beedle the Bard

This week’s book review is The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling.

Quick plot synopsis: Rowling brought the Wizarding classic, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, to the bereft Muggle world. Muggles have the Brothers Grimm, Wizards have Beedle. This novel contains the following tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” For die-hard Potterheads and new fans, this book holds new insight into the Wizarding World.

My thoughts: This book has its own charms, despite its short length. This is the Wizarding world’s equivalent of Aesop’s fables, short and simple narratives following a typical fairy tale structure. Each story has a moral reiterated, often correlating to themes developed in the Harry Potter books.

The “annotated commentary by Albus Dumbledore” is an unnecessary addition to each story that just made Dumbledore seem like a joke and a jerk in many cases. I’m not a huge fan.

Overall, I think if you’re a vested Potter fan, it’s certainly worth a read. However, it’s by no mean a requirement to understand the stories and understand the Wizarding World. If you’re new to the series, don’t start here. Pick up The Philosopher’s Stone.

– E.B.

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