Those of you who missed my big CNN debut (video on its way) will be pleased to know that my second appearance is going on in bookstores all over the world. In The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J. K. Rowling writes of a witch named Asha.
Ha! To my great delight, I discovered this while paging through the book at my kids’ school’s Scholastic Book Fair. Backstory: when you’re a little girl named Asha, you don’t get personalized license plates to hang on your bike, or personalized stickers to put on your brown paper book covers. So any time I see the name “Asha” in print, I get a little girl’s thrill.
(Imagine my reaction when, in the 90’s, Mattel came out with an African Barbie named Asha!)
Anyway, if you’re a Harry Potter fan and you haven’t yet read Beedle the Bard, do. It’s such a pleasure to hear Rowling’s voice in formal fable mode. As always, her imagination knows no bounds, and the lessons these tales teach are timeless. Professor Dumbledore’s commentary and footnotes are fascinating as well.
What I especially appreciate about this book: all net proceeds go to the Children’s High Level Group. From the website:
The Children’s High Level Group (CHLG) was founded in 2005 by the author JK Rowling and MEP Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne to help the 1 million children across Europe still living in large residential institutions. Contrary to popular belief, only 4% of these children are orphans, and they are in care because their families are poor, disabled or from ethnic minorities. Many of these children have disabilities and handicaps, but often remain without any health or educational interventions. In some cases they do not receive basic services such as adequate food. Almost always they are without human or emotional contact and stimulation.
The standard edition of the book is on sale everywhere, but Amazon’s got a lock on the magnificent Collector’s Edition: fancy case, velvet bag, metal skull and clasps, “gemstones,” additional illustrations, and a reproduction of the original’s handwritten introduction. At $100, it’s an investment, but Potter aficionados abound.
At a little over $7, however, the Standard edition would make a great gift or stocking stuffer for just about anyone.