Wednesday, 14 January 2009

The tales of Beedle the Bard

This was a short book so it will be a short review! If anyone's been living in a time-warp, you need to know that this is a collection of fairy tales that makes an appearance in the last Harry Potter novel, translated from the Runes by Hermione Granger with commentaries by Albus Dumbledore. The stories themselves are the usual moralistic fare but entertaining all the same. The most interesting aspects for me were the commentaries by Dumbledore.

Good old J.K does manage to insert some digs at censorship though,particularly the editing of children's stories to remove any element of gruesomeness and the campaign to get her books removed from school libraries. The note from Dumbledore about Beatrix Bloxham, author of the Toadstool tales, who re-wrote one of the tales to make it 'suitable' for children is genius! This can only be a reference to a certain children's author, Harry's namesake, who in fact has had her most famous story rewritten because obviously all the worlds problems are due to the fact that children are read stories that involve talking rabbits being made into dinner! Lol. I know she's by no means the only one but can you guess that its a bit of an issue for me?!

But I'll get off my soapbox now and just say that although this was a very short book it was good value because all three of us read and enjoyed it! My six year old read the fairy tales but ignored the commentary, my eleven year old read the whole thing as an extension of the Harry Potter series, and I enjoyed it for both of these reasons and got a bit of a wry smile out of the author's references.

And although this is actually Dylan's (11) book, I'm going to count it for my Read Your Own Books Challenge. Well I bought it, it lives on the communal bookcase with all the other Harry Potter stuff, and I've just decided I'm going to! Lol.

1 comment:

Eva said...

I agree that editing out the sad parts of stories for children is unnecessary. That being said, I wasn't a huge fan of Beatrix Potter when I was little, precisely because of the darkness. But at least it was my decision!