278 of 297 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2008
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.
106 of 123 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2008
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.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Admittedly as the time neared and having ordered multiple copies I was having trepidation about what I might end up with. Let me just say, I no longer feel that way. The packing box itself is collectible, warning Muggles to not distribute this before Dec 4th. That was a nice beginning to the opening of this gem. As others have said, the packaging is phenomenal and when I slid the main box out of its protective cover I gave a gasp - it is a thing of beauty. Alone it is truly one of the all-time great book boxes (I collect them). I was worried it was going to be vinyl but not it looks like a real, old Hogwarts book. They did themselves proud with that. Then I opened the box which I found very well made and gave another gasp - there was a beautiful velvet interior with the pouch and the prints. I took out the pouch and brought out the tome and gave my 3rd gasp - it is a thing of terrifying beauty. All in all, a very high quality presentation and surely to end up a valued treasure in anyone's library, certainly mine. Bravo Amazon! Thank you for replicating your amazing purchase and thank you for making it truly legendary. Bravo!
Update: I will reinterate what other's have said - the collectible edition is a remarkable piece of work. I love that book, it is beautifully done - the cover, the metal decorations, the paper, the fontography are all gorgeous. But let me tell you a secret. You see, I am a collector of book boxes as well and let me tell you, the book box that the collector's book comes in has to be the prize of my book box collection. I was expecting something of lesser quality - a seamed vinyl covered cardboard thing like the other Potter materials. It is not that. It is a beautiful piece of work that looks and feels like engraved leather. I've shown this around to other collectors of magic and they were highly impressed. They, like me, felt the book box alone was worth it. Sorry, just had to share my fetish.
60 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2008
A short while ago I opened my door to find a large package from Amazon: I could not believe it was actually my copy of The Collectors Edition of the Tales of Beedle the Bard! While I first ordered this a while ago, there was a problem with my credit card and I had to reorder, so I did not think I would get this book at all, much less on the relealse date! Thank you Amazon, I don't know how you do it!
The book is an absolutely must have for every Harry Potter fan. I had already read the tales themselves when I opened this volume, and they are truly delightful and full of wonderful messages for our children (and for all the magic lovers among us). The stories aside, this edition is truly beautiful and a pleasure to hold in one's hand. There are some wonderful and unique features to it -- the set of reprints is just beautiful; the small book inside the velvet bag inside the larger volume makes you feel like you are opening a treasure and indeed you are!
I bought this volume for my son for a Christmas present, but now I'm thinking, maybe I will need another one! It is well worth the money to own such a special item, and it makes it that much greater that a portion of the proceeds goes to Ms. Rowling's incredible charity. I know the holidays are going to be very special in my house. Thank you Ms. Rowling, for yet another gift to your legions of fans.
61 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2008
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. I will treasure this volume as I have treasured all of the Harry Potter books. Only one of the fables is a bit too dark for me (The Warlock's Hairy Heart); I'm not sure I will read it to my kids as it is a bit gruesome.
I have not yet received the Collector's Edition that I pre-ordered. I know that there is much speculation that this edition may have been over-subscribed. My order information indicates that I should receive it December 8th. I certainly hope I do, but if not, I notice that it is already for sale on ebay, and most sellers are not seeking to gouge people too badly. The real disappointment in ordering it on ebay would be losing out on the chance to make a contribution to Ms. Rowling's wonderful charity, The Children's Voice Campaign. But I think I might just make a separate contribution, as a small return for the many wonderful hours of reading and reflection she has given me!
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2008
I think this is lovely. I bought it for myself, but if I was given it as a gift I would absolutely adore it.
I think the attention paid to detail is amazing and, for me, it is a great way to end a book series that I loved very much. And, most importantly, you are helping a charity.
If you just want to read The Tales of the Beedle Barb, then stick with the regular edition - the book is a short read. But if you want to hold something in your hands that will take you right back to reading those last few chapters of the Deathly Hallows, this is for you.
420 of 557 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2008
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").
Some negative reviews I chose to discount involve either criticisms of it being "Dark" or "Scary", and "Inappropriate for young children" (reviews written without taking into consideration how dark -most- fairy-tales are, and the fact that kids today are far too wise (on average) to be frightened by this book), or complaints of rushing something out in the name of capitalism.
Point is, the book sales go to a very worthy charity, AND this book was only intended as a "cute" gift Ms. Rowling made for 6 of her friends, with the 7th being auctioned off for charity.
And on THAT note, I wish to recommend that instead of buying this not-very-good-at-all book, you should look into making a donation directly TO the charity that the "Net Proceeds" would have gone to, namely: The Children's High Level Group, which you can find using any good internet search engine. This way 100% of the $12.99 goes to a worthy cause.
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2008
I was thrilled on Thursday to have received in the mail my copy of the collector's edition of JK Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard. It was shipped well in a doubled up cardboard box that fit it perfectly (actually had the name of the book on the box, so it was made specifically to ship this book. When you open it, it's in a thin white cardboard cover that says "this side up"
When you slip it out of that cover, you see a wonderful fake leather "book" that is about 10 1/4 x 12 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches. The binding has the name, author and small drawing in gold lettering; the front cover is the name, author and decorative drawn border pressed into the faux leather. The back cover has part of the same drawing pressed in.
When you open it up, you find that it's a case for the actual book that is imbedded into the middle, covered in a lovely red velvet bag with JK Rowling's signature embroidered in gold. The draw strings are also gold. On the left side there is a folder with Collector's Edition Prints. They are beautiful, and can either be framed, or kept tucked away in this case.
The actual book it's self is great quality. Dark brown, with silver decorative pieces on top each piece having emerald colored stones in them. This includes the side clasp. There is also an emerald colored ribbon bookmark.
The introduction is a straight copied from JK's original work that Amazon purchased. If you're not the best with handwriting, some words can be a little hard to read. After the intro, it switches to a very Harry potter/magic like font that works well with telling the stories. All together with the stories, Dumbledore's comments, and JK's comments, it took me about an hour to read straight through.
This edition was worth every penny for someone who really loves Harry Potter, and wants quality.
85 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2008
I'm glad to hear that people are enjoying their books so much, but I'm having a moment of desperate indecision. My CE copy came yesterday and I was so excited! Even the packaging was exciting (a lot of people were upset because they bought it as a surprise and the packaging ruined it).
But when I finally got my first look at the actual book, I was a bit disappointed. I mean, I just paid $100 for this book and I expected it to be perfection. But it wasn't. The metal corner pieces weren't straight or even, which made the center piece off-center, and even the clasp was in the wrong place (in my opinion of course). Now, I was happy to spend the $100 (which is a LOT of money for a book when you are a really broke 20-something struggling to pay bills) as I imagined this beautiful volume in my collection, but I have to be realistic. It looks cheap. The stories are very good, but I could have read those in the $10 regular edition.
Maybe I'm being too nit-picky. I haven't found a single other review that was complaining of these same issues. Did I just get a dud copy? Or am I being silly to be upset by these problems?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2009
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. For older readers, you will surely finish this book within a few short hours; but for those with youngsters, each story can be read before bedtime to invoke magical dreams in the listener. Rowling pens another winner!