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4.5 out of 5 stars
The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Standard Edition
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2009
If you are a Harry Potter fan, this book is for you. It contains five wizard fairytales, and notes made by the Professor Albus Dumbledore. Like with Muggle fairytales, they contain moral messages and words of wisdom to the budding wizard. They are short and thoroughly enjoyable. The notes made by Dumbledore had me chuckling - what a great character! I loved how the books linked back to the Harry Potter series, making the book a must-have for Potter fans.

My favourite Tale was "Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump"- very funny. A great washer woman. A fiery character who taught a valuable lesson and had a genius laugh.

As ever, Rowling writes in an engaging and fun way, and although this is predominantly a child's book, adults will appreciate the book too, with some subtle adult humour and comments. This was a gripping and fun book to read, and I loved the illustrations, done by Rowling herself. This is a great companion to the much-loved Harry Potter books, and I highly recommend this little gem.

10/10
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
This is a collection of five short parables, which remind me very much of reading Aesop's fables as a child. They are well written and thoughtful about the weaknesses of human character especially if you live in a world where magic is real. They are well written tales of fears and desires. For me they are actually better in some ways than the last Harry Potter book, because to tell a story with a message in such a small space and with originality and imagination is a serious challenge.

They are going to be perfect bed-time reading for my children and you have to think that JK probably had her own children in mind when she wrote them. I am not sure about the hairy heart one just before bed.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2008
If only JK hadn't said in 'Deathly Hallows' that there were five tales in this collection! Then she could have given us our fill of post-Potter stories without continuity problems.
This is a great little book. But with a sad emphasis on little. I wanted more! The great thing about this collection is that it shows us the breadth of Rowling's talent. Each of the tales is individual, with a different tone; some light, some funny and - in the case of the Hairy Heart - some dark. And the commentary from Dumbledore has a pleasing academic tone while still being child-friendly.
Just imagine if there were seven tales, or ten, or twelve...
However, the price reflects the size which is great news. A fantastic stocking-filler for anyone with Potter withdrawal symptoms.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2009
One of the most eagerly anticipated books of the year that is quite sure to become on of the biggest sellers of the year popped through my door (with a couple of others that I will write about tomorrow) and landed on my matt today. Yes the latest of J.K. Rowling's books `The Tales of Beedle The Bard' has come out. After the success of the Harry Potter novels could something different do as well?

The answer is... for children and hardcore fans definitely. It doesn't really qualify as a book of totally new works because of the fact that Dumbledore runs a commentary throughout the whole book, so actually the book isn't as full of tales as you would believe, and it is also translated by Hermione, so still has masses of Potter running through it.

The tales however are brilliant and Rowling seriously knows how to spin a tale be it long or short. Having read Perrault's fairy tales and re-embracing my love of them earlier in the year this was another joy to read and I can imagine if Rowling made more they could become the fairy tales of future generations. My absolute favourite, though I thought it was a bit gory for children, was `The Warlock's Hairy Heart' I just thought it was simply brilliant.

All five stories are great though be it for morals such as `The Wizard and the Hopping Pot' which teaches you about greed, `The Fountains of Fair Fortune' which had a lovely moral to it that I wasn't expecting and wont give away. You can find something scary in `The Warlocks Hairy Heart'. A brilliant main character and almost traditional fairy tale in `Babbity Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump' and another almost traditional tale in `The Tale of Three Brothers' which I think was my least favourite.

Potter fans and children alike will absolutely love this. It's also for charity so if you want to remember when you were a kid and someone sat down and told you a good story then pick this up and curl up on your sofa.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have absolutely no qualms about highly recommending this little book. Someone bought this for my (17-year-old) daughter as she is an avid Harry Potter fan.
I read it in one sitting - as did she - and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is light and dark, humorous and touching, frightening (other reviewers make mention of "The Hairy Heart") and inspiring ("The Magic Fountain").
These little parables could easily be traditional children's tales in a world where magic is real and everyday. JK Rowling is to be commended for her ability to write short stories which will appeal to both Harry Potter fans and to the uninitiated. The commentary by Albus Dumbledore certainly enhances the book in my opinion, with its asides and references to Potter-lore. But, equally, these are bedtime stories for children too (although I would echo another reviewer's cautionary comment about "The Hairy Heart"!).
If nothing else, the royalties are donated to a good cause - another reason to buy the book and not grumble about the price, which is very low given that it's a hardback!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Like John Irving and Terry Pratchett before her, JK Rowling has brought a book within a book to life with these tales. This isn't the first time the author has done this; see her two efforts for Comic Relief. As before, profits are going to charity, so I don't think you can complain about the lack of pages! The quality of writing matches the best of her previous books and the varying tone of each story, along with Dumbledore's notes, makes it clear the author has a lot more to offer beyond Harry Potter. I for one am looking forward to her next book and wouldn't be surprised if it scales the dizzying heights that Harry soared to. I like books that manage to build a complete world for me to escape into on a lazy summer Sunday or winter evening and this quality is what, in my opinion, marks the best fantasy books. For those, like me, waiting for the next Rowling effort with bated breath, try Dawn of Fear,Green Smoke or The Pyn King.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2008
I am afraid I am on the fence with this one so will probably upset people who automatically think that because J K Rowling wrote this book it is perfect in every way. Well I would agree that she is indeed a fantastic author and what she has done for resurging peoples (children's especially) interest in reading is nothing short of incredible. However I do see this particular book of hers as a stop gap between the Harry Potter series and the highly anticipated novel that she has promised as her next work. For a start this book is oh so short and subsequently I took less than an hour to read it. Yes ok I am of the age where I can read relatively quickly but this book was over just too soon after it began. I didn't really have a problem with the stories in the book as we have come to know what to expect from Mrs Rowling and they provided a decent dose of entertainment. But I did have a problem with the comments that were after each story. They were supposedly an insight into the origins of the story by Albus Dumbledore himself but for me they just served as a mindless ramble just to fill up the pages. As I said before, I thought the stories were very good themselves but I feel the book could have been half the length and without the said Dumbledore commentary. I didn't feel it really added to the stories and would have preferred that instead of these there had been some more stories or the ones that were there could have had some more flesh added. Anyway I still give J K enormous credit for what she has done for the literary world even if, for me this book falls only slightly wide of the mark.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It is JK's clever asides that make the Tales of Beedle the Bard the must-read title for Harry Potter fans that it is.

The tales themselves are fairly clever fairy stories for the wizarding world. It is, however, the forward and notes by Professor Dumbledore are what makes it rise above a mundane retelling of tales told to young wizards and witches. Her wit and ability to write in the style of a well loved character is still evident in this tale that will please young and more mature readers alike.

I can highly recommend it as as bedtime story book to read to small children as well as a entertainment to read curled up under a rug to yourself.

Enjoy,
jack63kids
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2009
There is more then meets the eye, in Harry Potter's world. Rowling's saga is not only the story of a teen-age wizard, but it is a complete universe, that can be discovered little by little, exploring new places and welcoming new characters. Reading "The Tales of Beddle the Bard" is like saying "hello" to an old friend and, at the same time, discovering something new about him.
The standard edition is simple and lively, and the illustrations are meaningful and careful. Rowling's writing is catchy as always, and she is able to merge Britain's folklore and her own fantasy world in a perfect way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2009
Calling all Harry Potter fans this book is right up your alley! Forget the usual muggle tales of sleeping beauty, Snow white and the seven dwarfs and happily ever afters, coz this is not a book that sends you off at bedtime to sweet dreams. Don't want to spoil it by telling my fav parts, all I can say is this book is a must have for die hard fans, so what u waiting for, go get ur coat on and head down 2 ur nearest W.H.Smiths, or any decent book store near u, or as ur already on line reading this click a few buttons and bob's ur uncle it'll land on your mat in just a matter of days
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