Title: The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2008
This collection of fairy tales from the wizarding world of Harry Potter were written by J.K. Rowling, creator of one of the most popular, widely read and well-loved series to ever exist. Here she brings together a handful of "favorite tales" from the world she created, beloved by wizards and witches for centuries. From "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot" to "The Tale of the Three Brothers" (the latter of which readers of the Harry Potter series will be very familiar), each story gives its own spark of magic, as fairy tales tend to do.
I can't believe I'm just getting around to reading this collection, but I'm honestly glad I waited until after my storytelling class to read this. It's clear to me that J.K. Rowling has studied folklore and fairy tales, both their history and their form. Notes from Dumbledore at the end of each story really show this, as he goes into theory and history of the tales, something which it would be impossible for Rowling to write about to such a degree without prior study.
The tales are delightful and clever, though one or two have a darkness that is more along the lines of the later Potter books—"The Warlock's Hairy Heart" being the first and foremost that springs to mind on that front. I loved how the heroines of the tales are rulers of their own fates, unlike the Grimm or Perrault tales we are so familiar with, as Rowling points out in her introduction.
These stories would be great to tell fans of the series, or even those who haven't read the Potter books yet, during a storytelling event or at bedtime (again, excluding the darker tales). The appeal is wide.