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The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Standard Edition (Harry Potter) Hardcover – December 4, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up—Muggles grow up with Grimm's fairy tales; wizarding children grow up with Tales of Beedle the Bard. The Bard's book is a collection of five tales, bequeathed to Hermione Granger by Professor Dumbledore. The passing of the book into her hands was intended to be both "entertaining and instructive." As in all good mysteries, information contained within its pages provided Hermione with clues essential to helping Harry in the series' last installment. In particular, "The Tale of Three Brothers" describes how three magical items appeared after siblings cleverly cheat death. It is these items that play a pivotal role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic, 2007). Those hoping to re-create the hours of pleasure spent curled up with a J.K. Rowling book may be disappointed at the brevity of this title, but they will undoubtedly enjoy the tales and Dumbledore's often lengthy, cynical-but-wise commentary on each one.—Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

It is easy to be cynical about The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Harry Potter fans may see it as a inadequate substitute for the delayed release of the film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Muggles—you ordinary, nonmagical humans—may wonder why another Hogwarts book is necessary, even if one of the stories in this collection, "The Tale of the Three Brothers," plays an important role in the final battle between Harry and Voldemort (in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). But critics found much in this book for even nonfans to admire—from the subtle moral messages of the tales to the voice which Rowling allows to emerge in the tongue-in-cheek commentaries. A few critics commented that the collection lacks Rowling's usual charm and originality, but most fans will be happy to have a few more moments with Dumbledore.
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 and up
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1290L (What's this?)
  • Series: Harry Potter
  • Hardcover: 111 pages
  • Publisher: Children's High Level Group; Standard edition (December 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545128285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545128285
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (865 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

J K (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in the summer of 1965 at Yate General Hospital in England and grew up in Chepstow, Gwent where she went to Wyedean Comprehensive. Jo left Chepstow for Exeter University, where she earned a French and Classics degree, and where her course included one year in Paris. As a postgraduate she moved to London to work at Amnesty International, doing research into human rights abuses in Francophone Africa. She started writing the Harry Potter series during a Manchester to London King's Cross train journey, and during the next five years, outlined the plots for each book and began writing the first novel. Jo then moved to northern Portugal, where she taught English as a foreign language. She married in October 1992 and gave birth to her daughter Jessica in 1993. When her marriage ended, she returned to the UK to live in Edinburgh, where "Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone" was eventually completed and in 1996 she received an offer of publication. The following summer the world was introduced to Harry Potter."Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was published by Bloomsbury Children's Books in June 1997 and was published as "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in America by Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic in September 1998.The second title in the series, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", was published in July 1998 (June 2, 1999 in America) and was No. 1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts for a month after publication. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" was published on 8th July 1999 (September 8, 1999 in America) to worldwide acclaim and massive press attention. The book spent four weeks at No.1 in the adult hardback bestseller charts, while "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" simultaneously topped the paperback charts. In the US the first three Harry Potter books occupied the top three spots on numerous adult bestseller lists.The fourth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia 8th July 2000 with a record first print run of 1 million copies for the UK and 3.8 million for the US. It quickly broke all records for the greatest number of books sold on the first weekend of publication. The fifth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," was published in Britain, the USA, Canada and Australia on 21st June 2003. Published in paperback on 10th July 2004, it is the longest in the series - 766 pages - and broke the records set by "Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire" as the fastest selling book in history. The sixth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", was published in the UK, US and other English-speaking countries on 16th July 2005 and also achieved record sales.The seventh and final book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was published in the UK, US and other English speaking countries on 21st July 2007. The book is the fastest selling book in the UK and USA and sales have contributed to breaking the 375 million copies mark worldwide.J K Rowling has also written two small volumes, which appear as the titles of Harry's school books within the novels. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through The Ages" were published by Bloomsbury Children's Books and Scholastic in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief. The Harry Potter books have sold 400 million copies worldwide. They are distributed in over 200 territories and are translated into 67 languages.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

278 of 296 people found the following review helpful By A. Writer O. Sorts on December 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you love the Harry Potter series, then this is a must-have. It arrived in the mail yesterday, and I devoured it right away. And that's my only complaint: it's brevity. It's a short, quick read. But a fun one.
And it's not simply a handful of fairy tales from the wizarding world. The commentary by Albus Dumbledore on each story was a really nice touch, in some cases even more entertaining to me than the stories themselves.
If you were expecting a thick book that would absorb you for hours as the Harry Potter series did, I hope you're not disappointed in this book's brevity. It's still worth the price if you enjoy the series, and it supports a charitable cause.
If you've never read the Harry Potter books (or seen the movies, I suppose) then do NOT consider this a sample of the series. You will not glean any sense of the depth, quality and, as everyone else calls it, the magic of the Harry Potter world. This book is a tasty dessert to those who've feasted on the seven-course series.
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106 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Brett Daniels on December 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The book was decent, in a cutesy kind of way. It is a very quick read -- somewhere around 100 pages. Being in my twenties, I think I was probably a little older than the intended audience. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the Harry Potter series, but with one caveat: Don't get your hopes up too high. It's good and provides some insight into "The Deathly Hallows," but it's no Harry Potter.
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60 of 77 people found the following review helpful By Laura on December 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Everything written with the pen of JK Rowling seems to be magical, and this volume is no exception. The very genesis of this book is so special: the tales in it, we are told, were left to Hogwarts by the great Professor Dumbledore. The style and sentiment of these five little fables will come as no surprise to anyone who is a Harry Potter fan -- in fact one of them should already be well known to all. "The Tale of the Three Brothers" was first told in Book 7 of the Harry Potter series. It is such a simple yet strong tale with such a forceful message (much like all of JK Rowling's tales) of the difficulty of making hard choices and being the master of one's own fate. I have read this fable to my sons who are still pondering its message.

No one less than Hermione Granger serves as the translator of these works, and Ms. Rowling has included with the text Dumbledore's commentary and some wonderful illustrations of her own. The simplicity of the tales only underscores the wonderful messages they bear in terms that are not at all preachy. In many ways, the stories remind me of many standard fairy tales, such as those written by Aesop or the Brothers Grimm, but in a context much more likely to appeal to young children as well as the magic lovers among us. It has always amazed me that anyone could find anything in Rowling's work that is somehow not wholesome. Her messages as always are clear, simple, direct and as important life lessons as children will ever learn: the use and abuse of power; the benefit of working together; being able to recognize and value what is special in each of us; the dangers of working with the dark arts (i.e., the abuse of power). It is no wonder that her work is so loved and so enduring.
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417 of 554 people found the following review helpful By Geoff on December 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Please, let me say that first and foremost, I adore (nay, worship) the Harry Potter stories.

Secondly, I wish to say that I deeply admire, respect (and am quite envious of) J. K. Rowling's skill, her achievements, and the long and heroic struggle she has triumphed over to get where she is today.

Thirdly, I am so very happy that Ms. Rowling has chosen to put her fame and fortune to work helping children. I have -always- said that children are the -most- vulnerable, as they have little voice, or rights of their own to protect them.

Now, having said this, and with the understanding that the "Tales of Beedle the Bard" was a plot device used in HP7, And Never Intended To Be A Book In and Of Itself...

This book really stinks.

Flip through the reviews. First eliminate those of the rabid fans who would worship Ms. Rowling's grocery list, if it were made available for purchase. Next, ignore the "Was This review helpful" rankings, as the first group mentioned probably went though and clicked "No" on any review less than 4 stars.

O.K., now look at those 3-stars & under reviews. They've said it all:
This thing is -really- short, and the words spread out to try and "pad" it (I read it in 20 minutes); The stories might be entertaining if read to a pre-schooler, but not to anyone older; and most sadly, the stories AND commentary contain none of Ms. Rowling's great skill, nor do the parts attributed to the character Dumbledore sound even remotely like how I perceive he would have written them (Little humor, no "spark").
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on August 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I learned many years ago, when I would lock myself away with each new HARRY POTTER release, and refuse to talk to anyone - even my mother - that J.K. Rowling had a magical way with words. No other author had the power to capture my interest in such a way that I could not tear myself away from their work until every last word had been read; yet Rowling accomplished such a feat.

Following in the footsteps of the works of The Brothers Grimm, THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD are extraordinary. And what makes them so is the fact that they are simple. Each of the five tales - THE WIZARD AND THE HOPPING POT, THE FOUNTAIN OF FAIR FORTUNE, THE WARLOCK'S HAIRY HEART, BABBITTY RABBITTY AND HER CACKLING STUMP, and THE TALE OF THE THREE BROTHERS - never exceed twenty-five pages, and this includes the commentary from Albus Dumbledore himself; yet within that short amount of time, they manage to weave a tale that features morals and lessons - without being preachy - that is in-depth enough to pique the reader's interest right off the bat.

Those who savored the Harry Potter stories from start to finish will remember mention of THE TALE OF THE THREE BROTHERS and THE TALES OF BEEDLE THE BARD within the fantastical stories; and will rejoice in the fact that they can feel like a true member of the wizarding world due to the fact that, in the universe of Rowling, these are the fairytales that young wizards and witches are told as they find themselves drifting off to slumberland.

Die-hard fans, do not delay, if you want an extra dose of the delightful Harry Potter, this is an essential for your collection, as not only does it feature the enchanting words of Rowling, but sketches done by her which illustrate that she is talented in more ways than one.
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The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Standard Edition (Harry Potter)
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