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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Saturday, 6 December 2008

My copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

December 6, 2008

by Suzan Abrams

Here is my scanned copy of JK Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

I picked up my storybook this evening from Waterstones' on Dawson Street. It arrived a day ago but I was in Belfast and somewhat busy. Like many others, I had ordered my copy two months ago. I'm only glad I had a chance to collect it before flying abroad early next week.

This is Rowling's first book which I've actually looked forward to. I thought it a brilliant marketing idea to churn out fairy tale stories at Christmas time.

There is something distinctly festive about being in Dublin especially on a cold and dark December day and then to be caught up in a lavish spangle of Christmas lights like a million rainbow dots splattered about the city. Think of confetti caught in mid-air. By the way, the merry theme is definitely one of minimalism this year.

Now throw in a party of elves, fairies, goblins and leprechauns famous of Irish folklore & fantasy, together with a crowd of community gatherings and peasantry tales from the Gaelic classics and there you have it. You're a child once more; alive to the ordinance of the imagination.

My cover is a tranquil blue and nothing gives away the intended game of innocence with the exception of a tiny skull laid on in side-profile at the head of the design. The straggly shaped ringed briar to which it's locked helps create a mood of enchantment.

Inside, Rowling writes an introduction to her stories and explains her generous display of footnotes on which she thrives. The tales are called 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.

Rowling explains how her heroes and heroines are able to perform magic by themselves and probably the most striking resemblance of a Beedle tale to a fairy one; of how virtue is suitably rewarded and wickedness punished. She also explains the personality traits of her likeable sounding characters.

The cream-coloured pages and the many black and white sketches remind me of my early Enid Blyton series of fairy tales. They stay beloved and eternally cherished. Tiny ringed briars surround each page number.

Oh...how quickly my grown-up fingers and weather-beaten mind embrace this newest entry to my growing library. It's a slim copy, only about 109 pages in total when you count the Baroness Nicholson's astute introduction at the back of the book on the workings of the Childrens' high Level Group charity founded by herself and Rowling in 2005. It says in fine print at the back of the book that £1.61 from each sale will be donated to the said charity.

I look forward to reading these tales and sharing more.

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