When the title of the final Harry Potter installment came out in the spring of 2007, everyone was a buzz with questions.
"What are the Deathly Hallows?"
These questions were answered July 21, 2007, when we all were finally able to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The answer was found in a book Dumbledore left Hermione: The Tales of Beedle the Bard which are basically fairy tales or fables for witches and wizards.
After finishing the final Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling actually started writing her own version of The Tales. At the time only seven copies were made - they were all handwritten and illustrated by Rowling. Six were given as gifts to those who helped the most with the Potter series and the seventh was sold at auction with the proceeds going to a charity.
When news of this book being written hit the streets, people demanded to be able to read the stories. But at the time, there was absolutely no intention of the books being released publicly, much to the dismay of many a Potter fan.
So imagine my surprise* when I received an email from Barnes & Noble this summer announcing the public release of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I reserved my copy and on December 4th, I headed to my local Barnes and Noble and purchased my copy.
Along with The Tale of the Three Brothers (the story featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Rowling brings us The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The Warlock's Hairy Heart and Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump.
The stories themselves are entertaining with lessons to be had by all who reads them - much like the fairy tales and fables we have grown up with. The best part of the book, however, is the "extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore." Rowling has managed to reignite the Potter magic and create more questions and desire for more stories outside of Harry Potter**! I also believe that she has created a book that our future generations will use the same way our parents used Hans Christian Anderson or Aesop's Fables.
Even if you're not a Potter fan (to which I say, "say what?") the book is worth the read - especially if you have children who are of the age to appreciate and understand the lessons to be learned. Plus, all of the proceeds of the sale of the book go towards a charity.
*So not surprised at all even though Rowling stated that Harry Potter's story is over.
**There are so many side stories to be had here, people! Prequels and such...and people will buy them! Rowling would be crazy not to cash in on that.