There are two reasons you should buy this book. First, it’s by J.K. Rowling, the Elvis of children’s literature, and not buying anything written by J.K. Rowling might bring about the end of the world. Second, it’s for a good cause, and about a fifth of the money you pay for it will go to a charity that Rowling supports.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard: Penguin India, 104 pages, Rs600.

There’s nothing about Beedle the Bard that justifies the hype around it except the author’s name. You want edgy, brilliant retellings of old fables? Try Neil Gaiman. Entertaining footnotes and digressions? Terry Pratchett and Jonathan Stroud do them far better. In the “tiny companions to huge series" sub-category, Philip Pullman’s Lyra’s Oxford is richer and deeper. The other companion volumes to the Harry Potter series, Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them, were little add-on volumes too, but they were quirkier and more entertaining reads. There’s nothing wrong with Beedle the Bard—but nothing exceptional about it either, especially given the vast pool of resources Rowling has created in her series. It’s more like something you’d find in a special features section of a DVD. I’d suggest giving some money to a local children’s welfare organization instead, and buying a book by Anushka Ravishankar, Vandana Singh or Venita Coelho.

Samit Basu is the author of The GameWorld Trilogy.

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