Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Tales of Harry Potter

A few years ago, I read aloud “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” to our daughter, who then inhaled the following six books on her own. I felt a bit unfulfilled, having never finished this classic series myself, so last winter I embarked on reading the rest, a chapter or two every bedtime. I triumphantly finished Book Seven a couple weeks ago and I am still missing Harry's world! I enjoyed the endearing characters, fantastic settings and plots, but as a naturalist I was also captivated by Rowling’s inclusion of natural history in her tales. Her owls may carry mail scrolls to the ends of the earth, but they are based on real, species-specific owls. And of course, each advanced wizard or witch can summon a patronus, a powerful and protective animal spirit. They don't choose the animal patronus, it is revealed only when they first succeed in creating the charm. In the books, Harry and his mates each have distinct creatures; Harry's a stag, Ron's a Jack Russell terrier, Hermoine's an otter, Luna Lovegood's a hare, etc.  It makes for the most magical moments. I'm wondering on what my patronus would unveil as...

I hope Harry Potter sustains a readership for decades. I feel it may be one of the last classic series shared and loved so globally, as reading for youth seems to be less of a passion that it did even a few years ago. If I ever discover I am a witch born of Muggles, I'd create a charm to preserve the joy of reading. The most powerful magic I can conjure until then is to continue to help create a good picture book or two!

1 comment:

Julie Clay Illustration said...

Oh I'm sure you will do that! The reading of the 1st Harry Potter happened in our house too, my Son didn't then read all the books, but some of them. Then all the films have been watched, by him, but not me as yet. I think the books are a classic of our time, just brilliant, it was only 'Famous Five' in my day, devoured all the books :)

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