Translated from the original runes by Hermione Granger, with additional analysis by Albus Dumbledore and introduction and illustrations by J.K. Rowling, comes the five magical tales of Beedle the Bard.
When this book was released, I purchased two copies of it: the mass-produced edition and the collector's edition that was cloned from one of the five special hand-written copies.
It had been a while since I'd read it and after recently rereading and reviewing 'Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them,' I was compelled to explore more magical wonders of the Harry Potter realm.
I was pleased to discover that I couldn't recall all of the details for the stories, though I remembered them in part. Their unfoldings were as entertaining to me as when I first read them.
Beedle's tales are something akin to the writing style - or rather feel - that other well-known children's stories have but his are something outside the generic. They deal with such wonderful characters and inspiring morals.
Much as I loved the stories, half the contents of the book is Dumbledore's analysis on each individual tale. He gives us a further insight into the meanings behind the stories and how Beedle's writings have been received by witches and wizards since they were first penned.
Such as Muggle fairy tales have been reinterpreted by many throughout history - such as the Grimm brothers who ironically made their stories far less grim - Beedle's tales have been rewritten to tone down or abolish violent aspects or to suit the story to a more anti-Muggle agenda. I am pleased to be able to read the translated, non-censored version of Beedle's tales.
My favourite of the five tales are 'Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump' and 'The Tale of the Three Brothers.'
Babbitty is a character who possesses such humour and wit that she had much magic within her that is more than what can be summoned by her wand. I think that if I could have chosen a story of Beedle's to be read to me when I was a child, it would have been Babbitty's.
'The Tale of the Three Brothers' is the most well-known because of the final installment in the Harry Potter series. It deals with strong morals we can all consider on a personal level as it focuses on something which affects us all: death.
The story is brief but beautifully told. Dumbledore's notes on the urban legends that surround the items in the story are most interesting and give this tale more grounding in reality, since it has affected so many people throughout history.
Something I noticed with the three brothers was the mirrored symbolism they had with three characters in the Harry Potter series. While the first brother died for power, the second for love and the third greeted death, so did three of the men in the novels die in an akin manner.
While these three men in the Harry Potter books are not immediately related as the brothers are, there is only a generation that divides them from one to the next, with the eldest dieing in pursuit of power and the youngest taking the decision to greet death.
Throughout the book are several illustrations by J.K. Rowling which help bring the stories to life in the imagination of the readers. In the collector's edition of the book, there are plenty more illustrations included and even some larger prints. While the mass-produced edition of Beedle's stories is wonderful, the way in which the other is designed and presented is even more magical to read from, giving a feeling of authenticity.
'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' is a book that every lover of tales must read and every Harry Potter fan should own.