Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, by J.K. Rowling

I rushed to my local Barnes and Noble when the release date was first announced. As has happened before, I was seemingly the first person to ask about reserving copies - they had to find someone to find out about the book. So, last Thursday, I picked up my copies. I've since been reading each fairy tale with its Dumbledore commentary, one at a time, much as I would if reading any book of fairy tales. And I'm quite enjoying it.

They are like the old familiar fairy tales, but different. There is a point to them all - a moral, which Rowling now seems more comfortable admitting. But they also have her quirky sense of humor that is evident - well, not so much in "The Hairy Heart". That is the one that just doesn't have much joy in it - but a moral nonetheless.

And as usual, I love her use of the English language. That was one of the first things I enjoyed when I read my very first Harry Potter book back in 1999. Even in these fairy tales, I don't feel that Rowling dumbs down language. She seems to assume that the reader, no matter what age, is intelligent enough to know the words she uses, or will ask or look in the dictionary for a definition. That's something that has been missing from children's literature far too long, and I was so happy to find someone who respects her own intellect and that of her readers.

So, I may come back to say more later, but right now I need to put the Christmas lights on the bushes in the front yard. Terry did his part by getting the ones on the eaves up yesterday, so it's now my turn. And I'd better get busy or I'll be doing it in the rain and the dark like I did last year.