Author: J.K. Rowling
Have just read it tonight, having received in the post this evening. I liked it. It reminded me of the fairy tales of my childhood, of which I still have very fond memories and, occasionally, still read from time to time. “The Fountain of Fair Fortune” is currently my favourite, but that may change over the course of several readings.
I like the drawings Rowling has done to accompany the tales, as the remind me of those I had in my big book of fairy tales as a child; only one or two black and white pencil drawings for each tale - perfect. The writing is simple, easy to understand and lends itself well to reading out loud. Fantastic bed time stories, even the scary one.
I thought I recognised shades of other stories in the tales, but, overall, I believe they are original, given the main characters all work magic, rather than the magical characters acting as mere catalysts in conventional folk stories.
Unusually, I had only two problems with this wonderful, little, blue, hardback book: the notes from Dumbledore on the morals in each tale and the footnotes within those.
If you wanted to read fairy tales to a child, you would just read them to your child, who would absorb the lesson without realising it, and, though its possible with this book to do that, if you try to flick past the pages of notes, I’m sure a child will pipe up that your missing bits of the story. Whereas the tales are simply written, like all good fairty tales, the notes are not, as JK has given them the air of Dumbledore rendering them a bit academic in tone, which I think makes them uninteresting to the very young.
Still, its a well designed book and, if were I to win the lottery, I’d try to buy the leatherbound version as a family treasure; just as I have kept the large volume of fairy tales I was given in childhood.
One of the best things about the book is that £1.61 from every copy will go to the Children’s High Level Group - a charity. Even without that, its worth buying.