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The Tales of Beedle the Bard    by J. K. Rowling order for
Tales of Beedle the Bard
by J. K. Rowling
Order:  USA  Can
Childrens High Level Group, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Alex Telander

In this original collection, J. K. Rowling explores mythology and fable in the world of Harry Potter. Imagine all the great stories that you read, and that were read to you as a kid - of fairy tales and heroes with lessons to teach you - only add characters who are wizards and witches and warlocks who have real magic! The five stories in this collection are ones to treasure and enjoy over and over, lacking only in their short length. Fortunately, Albus Dumbledore provides his own commentary for each story, and Rowling includes some explanations for Muggles.

In The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, a magical cauldron has a silver foot and hops around curing people of their illnesses and problems. Unfortunately its new owner doesn't care about anyone and has no intention of helping others, until the Hopping Pot has something to say about it. In The Fountain of Fortune, three witches and a knight travel up a hill to find the fabled fountain and cure their problems, but they must make sacrifices along the way, and in so doing discover truths about themselves.

The Warlock's Hairy Heart tells of a wizard who has always hidden his emotions from others and has never known love; through the Dark Arts he has trapped his heart away in a cage, only to finally discover love one day. In Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump, an ignorant king and a charlatan use a witch and her powers for their own pride and fame, only to have the whole show backfire on them. In the last story, The Tale of the Three Brothers, three wizards find Death waiting for them. They are each granted a wish and permitted to avoid death for now. But ultimately what they choose for a wish will determine how soon they will be meeting Death for the last time.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a wonderful collection that makes a perfect holiday gift for anyone, regardless of how familiar they are with the Harry Potter world. Plus, all net proceeds from sales are donated to The Children's High Level Group, a charity co-created by J. K. Rowling benefiting impoverished children.

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