JK Rowling did something for the Children’s Literature genre that hadn’t been done since Dr. Seuss. She made children want to read and she increased and improved their vocabulary and comprehension along the way. Why would anyone who loves to read refuse to celebrate her as an author?
OK, to be honest, I used to be snob about children’s literature. It was only for a short while in college and directly after I graduated. But, then, a friend of mine told me about the Harry Potter series and how it was right up my alley. I was skeptical. But, Lisa (who was and still is a literature snob) called me out. She told me immediately that I was being a snob because she recognized the trait and for that, I will always be grateful.
But, this is not about children’s lit, this is about The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The Tales of Beedle the Bard should be considered an accent to the Harry Potter series. It isn’t a continuation of the story so much as it is a little more detail about the quest Dumbledore left for Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
After Harry, Hermione, and Ron (and Neville – we should never forget Neville’s role) defeated the dark lord, they grew up. Hermione, one of the best pupils Hogwarts had seen, decided to truly examine the legacy left to her by Albus Dumbledore.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Harry Potter series of books (it makes me sad to think that you are unaware of them because they always end up on the banned book list), Dumbledore left Hermione a book of children’s stories. These stories are the equivalent of fairy tales for non-magical children. So, there is always a lesson, and it’s a bit more grim than a child’s story should be.
As with most fairy tales, the stories are filled with lightheartedness, pain, despair, death, and happy endings (not the dirty kind). What I love about these particular stories is that they weave in and out of the saga of the Harry Potter series and we don’t even realize it until the end of the series.
The lessons about bravery, quick wittedness, and human decency are integrated into the narrative of all 7 of the Harry Potter books. What I love most is that these are the stories that Ron grew up with. While Harry and Hermione are both a part of the magical world, their experience with it are either completely new (in the case of Harry), or what they’ve learned through self direction (Hermione). So, it makes sense that Hermione, the reader and lover of learning, would do Dumbledore’s memory justice by publishing a translation of the stories that were so pivotal in bringing an end to the Dark Lord.
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter books (or even if you’ve never read a single one), you will enjoy Tales of Beedle the Bard. For fans, the book offers one last look at the now ended story. For those who haven’t read the books, it offers a chance to start reading them with more insight that the rest of us had.
If you have read this book, I would love to hear back from you. Tell me what you thought of this late entry in the series and whether or not you agree about it’s ability to shed a bit more light on the intricate tale that is the Harry Potter series.
Image via NeverxLight