Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

"There was once a kindly old wizard who used his magic generously and wisely for the benefit of his neighbors." (1)

So starts the first of five wizard fairy tales published in J.K. Rowling's newest book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The text and morals are very reminiscent of fairy tales that we Muggles grew up reading, some of them almost directly comparable to versions we've heard. Younger children will be highly entertained by the stories. Older readers will get just as much enjoyment from the stories, and have an added bonus of reading Dumbledore's commentary after each one, which definitely adds depth to the story. The commentary, although rudimentary, could be used by teachers to show how literary analysis is crafted. The stories are all short, with the longest one being 15 pages, so I won't spill the plots. Generous margins make it an easy read and perfect for bedtime stories. Simple balck and white pictures are available for each story, and the cover art is just gorgeous. This would also serve as a good introduction to the magical world of Harry Potter for those younger siblings who have been watching their brothers and sisters grow up with the wizard. Not as much action as the previous seven books, but definitely a must read for any die-hard fan.

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