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Short Reviews of Short Fiction

“The Wizard and the Hopping Pot” by J.K. Rowling

“The Wizard and the Hopping Pot” is the first of the the five children’s fables in J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a short collection of children’s fables from the world she created for her Harry Potter series. In this tale, a callous young wizard is taught a lesson in human … er, muggle kindness by his dearly departed Dad’s potions pot.

The tale itself is a sharp quick read. Although Rowling has wrapped up the Potter series, she still shows herself to have a razor-sharp grasp of the world she created.

Better yet, like all the fables in this collection, “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot” is appended with notes by Professor Albus Dumbledore and well footnoted by both Hermione Granger and J.K. Rowling, all of which are of as much interest to the Potter-phile as the tale itself.

Indeed, the entire brief collection hearkens back to our earlier posts on fictional titles, since the title The Tales of Beedle the Bard was first introduced in one of the Potter books. Rowling wrote the tales after she had completed the Potter series, and they have served as a fundraiser for the Children’s High Level Group. (See the Wikipedia article for details: The Tales of Beedle the Bard.)

Here we have a book of fables based on a fictional title by a fictional author, with notes and interpretations by a fictional wizard, and with additional footnotes by a fictional witch and the actual author. It’s a hopping fine mix.

–John A. Magee


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