Stuff We Love: The Wizarding fairy tales in J.K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard

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Jun 2, 2017

The Tales of Beedle the Bard first made an appearance in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Dumbledore’s copy was left to Hermione as part of his will. Ron, having grown up in the Wizarding world, is the only one familiar with the book and its stories, which include “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” about the Deathly Hallows. The book was later brought to life by J.K. Rowling and joined Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as a book sharing a name with one in the Harry Potter universe that us Muggles could finally buy. Not only does it give us a look at what these wizard fairy tales are like, but purchasing the book also supports charity.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard includes five stories: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump” and “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” Each of the stories is fairly short, but the fairy tales are easy to imagine being read aloud to Ron and other magical children who didn’t grow up with Muggle stories. Adding to the book’s place in the Harry Potter world is how it states it was translated from the Ancient Runes by Hermione and includes commentary from Dumbledore after each story. Even the introduction by Rowling helps place this book in the reality of Harry Potter, discussing the life of Beedle and revealing how Hogwarts Headmistress Minerva McGonagall gave permission to print the book with Dumbledore’s notes.

Since the book’s release, I’ve loved rereading these stories every once in a while. My favorite one is “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” a tale of three witches and a Muggle knight, but all of them really do fit brilliantly with what you might think fairy tales would be like in the Wizarding world. Add to that lovely illustrations and interesting commentary by Dumbledore, and it’s a great addition to your bookshelf. Making it even better is the fact that all net proceeds go to Lumos, formerly known as the Children’s High Level Group, which supports finding children caring homes away from institutions.

This is a book every Harry Potter fan should read, but I don’t think it has to be limited to just fans, either. It can also just be a great book for those who aren’t familiar with the series looking for some fun new fantasy stories to read to your kids as you help make a difference in the lives of other children at the same time!