The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Standard Edition (Harry Potter)

by J. K. Rowling

Hardcover, 2008

Status

Checked out
Due Mar 5, 2024

Call number

Fic Row

Call number

Fic Row

Local notes

Fic Row

Barcode

499

Collection

Publication

Children's High Level Group (2008), Edition: Standard, Hardcover, 111 pages

Description

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers' attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger's new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales.

Awards

British Book Award (Shortlist — 2009)

Language

Original publication date

2008-12-04

Physical description

111 p.; 8.3 inches

Media reviews

Süddeutsche Zeitung
Sieben Harry Potter-Bände hat J.K. Rowling inzwischen verfasst sowie verschiedene Sequels und Prequels, fiktive Lehrbücher und andere Begleittexte, die den Harry Potter Zauber-Kosmos erweitern. Darunter auch diese "Die Märchen von Beedle dem Barden", erklärt Rezensentin Sybil Gräfin
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Schönfeldt und freut sich über eine herrliche Sammlung von Geschichten, die, wie es im Buch heißt, von Albus Dumbledore persönlich zusammengestellt und kommentiert wurden und dem eifrigen Potter-Leser sicherlich bekannt vorkommen werden. Illustriert wurden die Texte unter Anderem von Lisbeth Zwerger, die ein paar wunderschöne, traumverlorene Bilder auf die Seiten gezaubert hat, mit denen sie den Leser in den Bann nimmt, wie die Kritikerin betont. Auch der Einband ist so prunkvoll gestaltet, dass es eine Freude ist, schließt die hingerissene Rezesentin.
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3 more
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Tilman Spreckelsen haben an diesem Märchenbuch von J. K. Rowling nicht zuletzt Lisbeth Zwergers Illustrationen begeistert. Die Bilder bereichern die Texte laut Spreckelsen ungemein, legen ihn ins Märchenhafte aus und verdeutlichen Tragik und Glück in den Geschichten mit Leichtigkeit. An den
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Texten selbst vermisst der Rezensent ein bisschen den Märchenton. Rowling ersetzt ihn durch Raffinesse und einen Kunstton, doch auf beides hätte Spreckelsen verzichten können. Das Buch mit seinen vielen Bezügen zu Voldemort, Dumbledore und Co. ist eben doch viel mehr Teil des Harry-Potter-Universums als eine unabhängige Sammlung von Märchen, ahnt der Rezensent.
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Die Tageszeitung
Enttäuscht hat Rezensentin Wiebke Porombka dieses erste Postpotterwerk von Joanne K. Rowling weggelegt, das allerdings als ?Auskopplung aus der Potter-Welt? erschienen sei. Denn Porombka fand diese von Hogwarts-Chef Albus Dumbledore kommentierten, kurzen Geschichtchen aus der Zauberwelt weder
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besonders geheimnisvoll, noch unheimlich oder gar mit irgendeiner Art von Witz versehen. Und dass soll nun die Essenz des ganzen Potter-Kultes sein, fragt sie augenreibend. Denn was hier erzählt werde, seien höchstens ein paar ?flaue Lehrstücke?, die sie insgesamt eher schmalbrüstig fand.
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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Tilman Spreckelsen findet das nach und aus der Potter-Saga ausgekoppelte Märchenbuch "Die Märchen von Beedle dem Barden" von J.K. Rowling belanglos. Sowohl die Märchen selbst, die auf eine Episode bei "Harry Potter" zurückgehen als auch die Illustrationen erscheinen ihm als uninspiriert. Einzig
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der beigefügte Kommentar des Albus Dumbledore, der eine Volte gegen die Potter-Kritiker schlägt, welche die Magie in den Potterbüchern als jugendgefährdend angriffen, bereitet Spreckelsen Vergnügen.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member Bitter_Grace
Last year, JK Rowling hand-wrote and illustrated seven copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, giving six away to people involved in the publication of the Harry Potter books and auctioning the seventh off for charity. (Amazon was the lucky winner, if paying nearly $4 million for a single book can
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be considered lucky!)

Those of us who saved our millions and simply waited the year out can now read the book for ourselves.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is, for one thing, a small masterpiece of cross-referencing. You will recall from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that a certain story from this collection of wizarding folk tales figured in the plot. Now these stories, having been translated from the original runes by Hermione, is available to muggle readers along with notes by both Dumbledore and Rowling. Also, some of the footnotes refer the reader to another of Rowling's companion books-for-charity, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I've always been impressed by how well all the Harry Potter books work together, and so I found this all very funny.

The tales themselves don't have quite the wit and humour of the other two companion volumes, Fantastic Beasts and Quidditch Through the Ages, but they are a clever little twist on classic folk tales, and the idea that wizards grow up with fables particular to their own culture is a good one. Like our own tales, these have moral messages, mostly about the use and misuse of magic. I enjoyed the stories, but the commentaries by "Dumbledore" that followed each one took the usual joy out of interpreting a tale for oneself. Telling us what the story was all about just killed the wonder a little.

But, as always, it's great to revisit the Harry Potter world. I'm glad this book became available to the masses!
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LibraryThing member tipsister
I was pretty excited about the Tales of Beedle the Bard and even pre-ordered it from Amazon. I was a bit surprised that there wasn't a lot of commotion about this book. Maybe I just missed it.

The book itself is short, just 107 pages. There are five stories in the book and they are quite short. Each
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story is followed by commentary by Albus Dumbledore. That is by far the best part. Dumbledore was quite snarky and it made me laugh. The first story is "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot". This is a cute story about the importance of helping others. The second story is "The Fountain of Fair Fortune" and this was my favorite. It is a lovely little story about finding what you really want.

The third story was my least favorite. "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" was terribly disturbing. Not unlike some of the original fairy tales, this one was a bit bloody. If you are reading the stories to children, you might want to skip that one.

The fourth story was "Babbity Babbity and her Cackling Stump". It reminded me a bit of the story "The Emperor's New Clothes. But only at the beginning. The fifth story is "The Tale of the Three Brothers" which is the one that should be familiar to all who've read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. This tells the story of the Hollows, the Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone, and the Invisibility Cloak.

Overall, I'm happy with the book. It's a little extra for Harry Potter fans. It will go on the shelf next to the books. The only disappointment I have is that it's just a quick little read. I'm waiting for J.K. to take on her next real novel. I look forward to what she has in store for us next.
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LibraryThing member ladycato
Well, when folks mentioned this book was short, they weren't kidding.

This was a very fast read, but an enjoyable one. It's a collection of fairy tales of the Harry Potter universe, complete with notes by Albus Dumbledore. Rowling's voice is as delightful as ever, and even her illustrations are
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nice. I only wish that Tales was a bit longer; I wasn't ready to return to my Muggle existence quite so soon.
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LibraryThing member PghDragonMan
Ah, if only I had the good fortune, and the small fortune, to have read one of the original manuscripts for Tales of Beedle The Bard, one of the ones hand done by Rowling herself. That would truly be a once in a life time experience.

As it was, I read Beedle the Bard, from a copy borrowed from my
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local library. Although lacking the cachet an original manuscript might have, I still found the book a satisfying reminder of just how complete a world Rowling created. The stories had the general flavor of the classic tales many of us heard as kids ourselves, yet they were just off beat enough that it sounded more like something Morticia Addams would have read to Pugsley and Wednesday.

While hardly ground breaking the way the original Harry Potter book was, if you are a fan of Harry Potter and the magical world Rowling created, you owe it to yourself to read this book, if for no other reason than to complete your Rowling bookshelf. The stories themselves are very enjoyable, both as tales in their own rights and as fine examples of short, creative fiction. The commentaries by Dumbeldore are a huge plus to the enjoyment factor as well.

If you enjoyed the other companion volumes to the series, Magical Creatures and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages, you will enjoy this one as well. In buying the book, you will also be helping a very worthwhile charity. Having found this out, I plan to add a real copy to my Physical Library.
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LibraryThing member readafew
This is a fun little book, and is a very quick read. There are 5 wizard fairy tales and quit a bit of commentary on each one by Dumbledore from his notes, which are longer than the fairy tales he's discussing. This book isn't necessary to the Harry Potter story but is a fun extension and all the
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profits are going to help children. Fun book worth it for Harry Potter fans.
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LibraryThing member girlunderglass
This book contain five fairy tales. Each story is accompanied by commentary which is supposedly written by Dumbledore -and used by Rowling to send some messages of her own, and to take a few stabs at all those self-righteous morons who keep trying to get Harry Potter out of school libraries. This
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commentary is, in most cases, a lot more interesting than the fairy tales themselves, which seem to be targeted at a younger audience (well, they are fairy tales, after all). This book is a great treat for anyone that loves HP (myself included), although probably not a great way to initiate someone into Harry's world. You get the main idea - buy it for your Potterhead friends, not for your aunt Jenny who hasn't read a word of Rowling before.
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LibraryThing member HippieLunatic
As a fan of both the fairy tale genre and the Harry Potter-verse, this was a perfect addition to my library.

I liked reading it, especially with the addition of Dumbledore's notes to each story. I wish that there were more stories, perhaps with the additions of the wizarding world variations on the
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stories that most muggles know and love... but alas, such is the hopes of the non-author. Given the other collections of fairytales in my library, I would have been extremely happy with a large collection, spanning hundreds of pages, perhaps not double-spaced with huge margins on each page.

You don't exactly get your money's worth for this book, but given that the price goes to support a charity, I still deem it a good purchase.
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LibraryThing member ricki777
This book was pretty good. I have to admit though, it wasn't as good as I thought it would be. I figured it'd be just about the three brothers, the elder wand, the ressurection stone, and the invisibility cloak. Plus more detail. But, like I said, it was still pretty good.
LibraryThing member StefanY
The Tales of Beedle the Bard is an interesting collection of wizarding fairy tales that was cute and entertaining. However, I do feel that it is the weakest entry in the Harry Potter collection. That is not to say that it is a bad read at all, I just felt that in comparison to other Harry Potter
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works, this one falls a bit short.

The tales themselves are ok. I can't quite put my finger on what is missing, but they just do not quite have the feel of classic fairy tales from the Grimm brothers or Hans Christian Andersen. Something about them is just not quite right. I'm not saying that I'm looking for a carbon copy stylistically, but there's just something missing considering that these tales are supposedly handed down from generation to generation of witches and wizards.

The notes on each tale are where this book shines. Personal quips by Dumbledore and Rowling herself are quite nice and give this book the little extra punch that it needs to make it worthy of inclusion in Harry Potter's world.
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LibraryThing member DanaJean
The Tales of Beedle the Bard was a charming set of fairy tales that give us another chance to revisit our much beloved Harry Potter series. I do believe that the first two tales are definitely a nice little jab at those 'book burners' and the naysayers who found the Harry Potter books to be 'evil'
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and 'harmful' to our children. They were equated with the Lucius Malfoy's of the wizarding world in my opinion. This kind of thinking is the real danger for wizards and muggles alike.

Nice touch that all proceeds go to a children's charity.

If you loved Harry Potter, you will enjoy these stories. Just another layer of the intricate world of Harry Potter laid bare for us Muggles!
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LibraryThing member tapestry100
The Tales of Beedle the Bard first came to light in J.K. Rowling's seventh HP book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Bequeathed in Professor Dumbledore's will to Hermione Granger, The Tales seemed to be a mystery. However, J.K. Rowling finally presents these five stories in a charity edition,
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with all proceeds benefiting the Children’s High Level Group.

The five stories read very much like our own fairy tales, however these are geared entirely towards Rowling's fictitious wizarding world. I personally didn't find anything overtly special about the stories themselves; they followed the typical fashion of all fairy tales, teaching lessons to younger ones through the means of the story. What I did really enjoy about this edition are the commentaries left by Professor Dumbledore. It's clear that Rowling fully thought out each of these stories and how they are looked upon by her cast of characters.

I don't think this book will mean much to anyone who is not familiar with the world of Harry Potter, and even then I don't think all HP fans will enjoy this much. For me, though, I found it to be a great companion to the other HP books.
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LibraryThing member bookappeal
The tales themselves are not particularly interesting but Albus Dumbledore's commentary is both funny and nostalgic. I miss Dumbledore.
LibraryThing member jenreidreads
This was a quick and lovely read from the world of wizards. Essentially, it's a collection of wizarding fairy tales—like Grimm's stories for Muggles. Dumbledore provides commentary after each of the stories, to help readers understand them in the context of the wizarding world. Of course, the
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last story, The Tale of the Three Brothers, is relevant to HP7, The Deathly Hallows. Probably this book is best suited to major fans, and wouldn't be loved as much by the casual HP reader.

And for super fans, like myself—definitely get your hands on Amazon's Collector's Edition. It's beautiful.
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LibraryThing member lookingforpenguins
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, mentioned in the final Harry Potter novel Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is a collection of five stories for young magical children, much like the fairy tales we Muggles tell our own children. Translated by Hermione Granger, The Tales also include commentary and
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notations by Albus Dumbledore, which were found among his effects after his untimely death.

Let's be honest: what is there to criticize? It's another piece of the Harry Potter phenomenon that will appeal to any fan of the series. Children who are Harry Potter fans will likely enjoy the Beedle Bard's tales, while adults will find the Dumbledore's notations more interesting.

For anyone who has collected the Harry Potter series, I would recommend this volume if for no other reason than to round out your collection.

If you're not a collector of the books, this little "extra" is not going to enhance the series or provide any additional insight into Harry.

If you've never read the Harry Potter series (is there anyone left out there?), then I honestly cannot think of any reason you might want to pick up this book.

Me? I'm a Harry Potter collector, so this book was a must-have for me!
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LibraryThing member Figgles
Nice little adjunct to the Harry Potter canon, the stories are good, the commentary and footnotes amusing and I now have the urge to go back and read Deathly Hallows to remember how it all fits together. Also all the profit is going to charity so there is not hint of the author desparately trying
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to spin out their theme.
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LibraryThing member cyderry
The Tales of Beedle the Bard was mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The introduction states that this version is a new translation by Hermione Granger from ancient runes.
There are five fairy tales in this book; The Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The Fountain of Fair Fortune, The
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Warlock's Hairy Heart, Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump, and The Tale of the Three Brothers. Following each of the fairy tales are personal notes and analysis by Professor Dumbledore, the late headmaster of Hogwarts School.
These fairy tales are short and enchanting with morals that fit reasonably well into the universe of both Magic and Muggle.
Dumbledore's notes, however, are truly what makes this a unique and special treasure for those that are Potter fans. The witticisms by Dumbledore show his warmth and mischievous humor all the while seeing into the spirit of the wizard Harry Potter fans love and revere. The Tales of Beedle the Bard are a very welcome addition to any Potter collection.
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LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
This slim volume contains several tales from the world of Harry Potter as well as "commentary" on each story by Albus Dumbledore. Y'know, they were fine.
LibraryThing member jessilouwho22
Alright, so maybe it's not the eighth Harry Potter book that everyone was hoping for. Nevertheless, for those of us trying desperately to come down from a "Harry Potter high," JKR does a good job of working us down gently.

I thought the idea for this little book was very innovative--writing a book
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that was mentioned in another book...I mean, c'mon, how cool is that? I will admit: I would have loved a longer book (I suppose that's what the encyclopedia's for?), and I tried so hard to stretch this book out for as long as possible. (I took a whole day to read 111 pages!)

I definitely loved the feel of the tales that she wrote--although they might be relatively new in the sense of their creation, J.K. presents us with these tales that feel ancient. It is very believable that these tales have been around in wizarding families for centuries. And that's another thing I particularly enjoyed about this book--for those of us hopelessly lamenting the fact that we're Muggles, this was a fascinating insight to the wizarding world that we so wish to be a part of. (My favorite tales were "The Fountain of Fair Fortune" and "Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump.")

Equally enjoyable were JKR's sneaky little references against book banning and people thinking that HP is "too dark and scary" for most kids--you tell 'em, J.K.!

I also really loved Dumbledore's commentary on the tales--especially the footnotes! It sounded so genuinely like Dumbledore that it almost felt as if he were discussing the tales directly with the reader. I especially loved the commentary after "The Fountain of Fair Fortune"--I couldn't help but bust out laughing!

Overall, I have to commend J.K. for this. Like I said, although it wasn't the eighth HP book, there was enough in this little book to keep Harry Potter fans enthused. I mean, she even included her own illustrations...almost as good as an autograph! Oh, and props to her for giving the net proceeds from this book's sales to a children's charity :)
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LibraryThing member Jenson_AKA_DL
This is an enjoyable little fairy tale compelation for fans of the Harry Potter universe. Not quite as dark as your typical Grimm's Fairy Tale, except maybe for the Hairy Heart, these follow the traditional quick, exciting story with a moral aftermath. I generally liked the message promoted and
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really enjoyed Dumbledore's critiques of the tales.

Since this was put together for a good cause I am quite happy I picked this up new and it is certainly one that will retain a place in my bookcase for future re-reads along with all the other Harry Potter novels.
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LibraryThing member SandSing7
A brief comparison with Grimm's Fairy Tales reveals Rowling's genius in using these "wizard fables" to introduce young readers to the standard format of the traditional fairy tale, in addition to creating a basic primer on symbols, archetypes, fictional telescoping and a wonderful example of
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intertextuality. (Not to mention an understanding of how to read and rely on footnotes.) Furthermore, Dumbledore's "commentary" is a fabulous introduction to the world of literary criticism. Here, the notes following each story are just as engaging as the stories themselves and offer additional views on the works based on Dumbledore's knowledge and experience. Through his commentary, Dumbledore shows young readers that discussing these fairy tales are just as interesting as reading them. My only complaint is that it was too short!
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LibraryThing member mjmbecky
Once again, it gives you a taste of the wizarding world that Harry Potter lives in. Sadly, it made me miss those first-time readings of Harry Potter that had me so captivated. Cute stories, with a new spin on stories that feel awfully familiar.
LibraryThing member Henriettatwloha
I have to be honest, Harry Potter is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE book series. I absolutely love it. To this day I still wish someone would give me a letter on my birthday telling me that I would be allowed to attend Hogwarts. Sadly, that will never happen so I have to get my Hogwarts fix from the
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books written about it. Yesterday I came home and finally found the collector's edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard in my possession. I have wanted this book since before it came out. However, I had gotten married just two months before it was published and obviously as a newlywed didn't have that kind of money to spend on a single book. After a few years of marriage having gone by, I was finally able to set aside money for this amazing book. I found it on ebay for a very good price and am so happy that I bought it. When rating it I took into account not just the writing but the design, the packaging and presentation. It is beautifully made and I am so proud to have it sitting on my shelf. It was well written and an interesting little companion to the series. I would recommend this edition to any true and obsessed Harry Potter fan because only a silly obsessed fan would spend that much on a single book but I love it and that's all that matters.
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LibraryThing member tapestry100
The Tales of Beedle the Bard first came to light in J.K. Rowling's seventh HP book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Bequeathed in Professor Dumbledore's will to Hermione Granger, The Tales seemed to be a mystery. However, J.K. Rowling finally presents these five stories in a charity edition,
Show More
with all proceeds benefiting the Children’s High Level Group.

The five stories read very much like our own fairy tales, however these are geared entirely towards Rowling's fictitious wizarding world. I personally didn't find anything overtly special about the stories themselves; they followed the typical fashion of all fairy tales, teaching lessons to younger ones through the means of the story. What I did really enjoy about this edition are the commentaries left by Professor Dumbledore. It's clear that Rowling fully thought out each of these stories and how they are looked upon by her cast of characters.

I don't think this book will mean much to anyone who is not familiar with the world of Harry Potter, and even then I don't think all HP fans will enjoy this much. For me, though, I found it to be a great companion to the other HP books.

As an aside for the Collector's Edition: This edition is beautiful. I don't think someone can truly appreciate how lovely this edition is until you have it in hand. It all comes packaged in a felt-lined box that resembles a larger book. The book itself comes in a velvet bag, and the book cover looks exactly like the editions that Rowling created, with the silver skull in the center and the silver filigree on the corners. The only drawback I have to this edition is the font that they set the type in. I think it's meant to mimic handwriting, and I find it a little difficult to read, but not impossible. It's just a rather busy-looking font. Other than that one quibble, I find everything about the physical look of this edition mesmerizing.
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LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
This is interesting primarily because there is just a little glimpse of the familiar wizarding world of Harry Potter. The fairy tales are entertaining, but the commentary is even more so. All in all, a familiar bit of writing that made me, at least, want to go re-read Harry Potter.
LibraryThing member theokester
First, I'll admit that I have not yet finished reading the entire Harry Potter series. I've stalled about a hundred pages into Goblet of Fire. So I have no context for the appearance of Beedle's stories somewhere in the later books or of Hermione's or Dumbledore's relation to them.

That said, I
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don't think much context is needed to read this book. Rowling does include elements from her magical world (references to "muggles" and different characters, books and places) but she also includes footnootes to many/most of these, so I suspect/hope that the virgin Rowling reading would be able to catch on fast.

This book and its stories are very short and simple. The reading is fast and young...younger than even some of the earlier Potter books. The tales are whimsical and entertaining, but nothing extraordinary or earth shattering. I've read a bunch of fairy tales over my life and actually last year I read a big collection of "Grimm's Fairy Tales", so I found a lot of common/reused elements. Some of the stories felt very familiar, but I couldn't pinpoint any plagarism per se...just reuse of common elements for fairy tales & fables. I'm sure she had particular stories as inspiration for her tales and somebody familiar with them can likely see the resemblance.

The one tale I had been told was "borrowed" from something I read was the tale of the three brothers which had supposedly been a sort of remake of Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale. In each of the tales, there are three brothers who meet and 'cheat' death. That's about the extent of the similarities. The character development and the plot itself are very different between the two tales. Frankly, I enjoyed Chaucer's more. :)

Overall, while the stories were fun and whimsical for a bedtime reading, they were entirely unremarkable. The only real "meat" of the book is the inclusion of Dumbledore's commentary on each story. While fairly superficial and obvious as far as commentary goes, it was interesting and fun to essentially participate in a literary discussion about tales of magic from within a world that magic really exists. Even then, the commentary isn't meaty enough to turn these Tales into a "Great" book.

I applaud Rowling for her creativity in writing a book within this "form"...a backlog of fairy tales from within the wizarding world accompanied by a commentary from a wizard/professor. Personally, I would like to have seen more in-depth treatment in the commentary (since that's the real "novelty" here). Additional illustrations may have made this better as well...the stories are clearly young children's stories, but the book presentation makes it difficult to present to very young readers. I'll probably try reading a couple of the stories to my kids...not sure how it will go over since they are really so bland and underdeveloped.

It's worth the quick read, but (unless you just want to contribute to Rowling's charity), I can't really recommend shelling out to buy it.

**
1.5 stars
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Pages

111

Rating

½ (4258 ratings; 3.8)
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