The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter Series)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter Series)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter Series)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter Series)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter Series)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter Series)
  • The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter Series)
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The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter Series)

4.2 920
by J. K. Rowling, Mary GrandPre

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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…  See more details below


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: "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot," "The Fountain of Fair Fortune," "The Warlock’s Hairy Heart," "Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump," and of course "The Tale of the Three Brothers." But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.

This purchase also represents another very important form of giving: From every sale of this book, Scholastic will give its net proceeds to Lumos, an international children’s charity founded in 2005 by J. K. Rowling. Lumos is dedicated to ending the institutionalization of children, a harmful practice that affects the lives of up to eight million disadvantaged children around the world who live in institutions and orphanages, many placed there as a result of poverty, disability, disease, discrimination and conflict; very few are orphans. Lumos works to reunite children with their families, promote family-based care alternatives, and help authorities to reform their systems and close down institutions and orphanages.

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Editorial Reviews

Alexandra Mullen
Fans of Harry Potter will already have a few associations with the title of this book by J. K. Rowling. The first is that The Tales of Beedle the Bard is Dumbledore's bequest to Hermione Granger in the last book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The book is a collection of Grimm-like fairy tales wizarding parents tell their children that both amuse? and instruct -- or at least keep the listeners occupied. The second is that originally Rowling produced only seven copies, each one lettered and illustrated by herself, with gorgeous jewel-encrusted leather bindings. Tantalizing tidbits have come out, but now we all get to read the five stories ourselves: "The Fountain of Fair Fortune," "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot," "Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump," "The Warlock's Hairy Heart," and the story that proved so important in Deathly Hallows, "The Tale of the Three Brothers."

In Deathly Hallows, Harry's friend Ron Weasley, who was brought up by the sort of wizarding parents who would be good at bedtime stories, is old enough to have begun interpreting the stories for himself. Take the three brothers who bargain with Death to win an omnipotent wand, an invisibility cloak, and a stone that can bring back the dead.

"That story's just one of those things you tell kids to teach them lessons, isn't it? 'Don't go looking for trouble, don't pick fights, don't go messing around with stuff that's best left alone! Just keep your head down, mind your own business, and you'll be okay."

Ron's idea of a moral lesson stays at the level of the utile, which is a perfectly good place to be when one is raising children. One reason for telling "Little Red Riding Hood," after all, is to suggest to your children that they shouldn't let themselves be distracted by strangers who might just turn out to be wolves. Hermione has a more sophisticated notion of the kinds of moral lessons children's stories teach. She dismisses them outright.

"It's just a morality tale; it's obvious which gift is best, which one you'd choose." The three of them spoke at the same time; Hermione said, "The Cloak." Ron said, "The wand," and Harry said, "The stone."

Hermione isn't often wrong, and never for long. Her interpretation of her gift changes as the novel progresses. In The Tales of Beedle the Bard we learn that Dumbledore, too, interprets "The Tale of the Three Brothers" to his own satisfaction. But hovering in the background, J. K. Rowling seems to be suggesting that moral lessons have a slippery habit of eluding our grasp.

Three of the stories are pleasant riffs on fairy tales. Two are not. "The Tale of the Three Brothers" and, particularly, "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" descend from the dark woods of Grimm and the eerie psychological landscape of Hans Christian Anderson stories like "The Red Shoes" and "The Shadow." My ten-year-old son laughed during the first three stories and has kind of forgotten them. He did not laugh at the vision of the wizard's heart, which "had grown strange during its long exile, blind and savage in the darkness to which it had been condemned, and its appetites had grown powerful and perverse." The spell of this morality tale, I suspect, he will not so easily cast off.

Nor should he. Such simple tales are richly ambiguous in their refusal to interpret themselves. They can take on a deep life in us that more complicated narratives do not. I found it a curious thing, as I read through the seven volumes of Harry's adventures, that the wizarding world doesn't really do fiction. Hogwarts teaches no literature or poetry courses, and although the Hogwarts library has many spellbooks, histories, biographies, law books, and grimoires on its shelves, Madam Pince the librarian seems to guard no stories at all. The only fiction for wizards I recall is an old comic Ron Weasley used to read before he got sent off to school, The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle. I am glad to know that young wizards are fed by the stories of Beedle the Bard, however bowdlerized and little respected they are by most wizards.

Even in this volume, however, we do not get unmediated wizardry. Rowling has set up a pleasant conceit whereby we approach the stories through Hermione's translation, get Dumbledore's commentary after each story, and find her own Muggly notes at the foot of the page. Fans will have a good time picking up allusions and finding tidbits to fill in little chinks in their knowledge of the Potterverse. Nonfans will find plenty to amuse themselves with, too. But I think the critical apparatus Rowling sets up serves another function. One of the most important lessons Harry had to learn was that knowledge, truth, and wisdom don't come to us straight. You have to figure them out to your own satisfaction. In her short volume, Rowling gives her readers -- of whatever age -- a little lesson in sifting, parsing, judging, and reading at a slant.

Rowling has said many times that she does not intend to add to Harry's story, but she has given enormous pleasure by publishing these interpolated books. In the midst of the Harry saga appeared Quidditch Through the Ages and Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them. They are, of course, a testament to the thoroughness of her imagination in creating Harry's world. It will be interesting to see how thorough her imagination is. Should we expect copies of Bathilda Bagshot's History of Magic or Hogwarts: A History, both of which seem to have been read cover-to-cover by Hermione? Perhaps those would only be of interest to Hermione's kindred souls in the Muggle world. But one suspects their number is legion. --Alexandra Mullen

Alexandra Mullen left a life as an academic in Victorian literature to return to her roots as a general reader. She now writes for The Hudson Review (where she is also an Advisory Editor), The New Criterion, and The Wall Street Journal.

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Harry Potter Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)
1290L (what's this?)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Harry Potter Series) 4.2 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 920 reviews.
rnary More than 1 year ago
For all the people who gave it negative reviews...I don't think that they understand that this wasn't meant to be a full on NOVEL like Harry Potter. IT'S NOT MEANT TO BE READ AS A FULL NOVEL. The point of the entire book was to allow people to get further glimspe into the wizarding world and to understand the types of fairy tales/ fables the wizards grew up with. She references the fairy tales/ fables so much in the last it's nice to understand what she was talking about. I mean, you don't take Aesop's Fables or even traditional fairy tales that you grew up with and compare that to any full flegded series or even novel. The fairy tales and fables we grew up with are meant to be tradition just as these fables are "traditional" for the "wizards and withces".
ProfessorJuliana More than 1 year ago
This book is filled with fairy(wizard)tales that all have a good moral to them. I especially loved the notes on each tale from Albus Dumbledore. I also learned that the profits from each book go to the Children's High Group foundation, which enables young children to get a good education and so forth. J.K.Rowling is a brilliant, funny, and enticing writer, and I recommend this book to anyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J.K. Rowling, the brilliant British woman who opened up a world of books for me has now written a book from inside a book! This brings the Harry Potter world a degree closer to being just as real as our own world. Honestly, this woman is fantastic. This book, along with her other two "extracted" mini-books (Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find them; Quidditch Through the Ages) show us just how talented she is. Very little people could create such a detailed and complex world on a four hour train ride. Moreover, even less could make that world into a seven volume BEST SELLER BOOK SERIES! We can only imagine how she did it and how her marvelous creative mind works.

This book, The Tale of Beedle the Bard, has immensely high expectations and surely has brought on a tad bit of pressure on Ms. Rowling from her fans. Yet, this book will undoubtedly prevail. Now we will know what exact information Hermione was given by the eccentric Albus Dumbledore to help the trio on their quest. We will be given a glimpse of what she was going through- and maybe we might find a bit of extra sense in the mysterious Deathly Hallows; because I know I was left a bit confused. With this story, more brilliance and fame will fall upon the genius author, and all will be overly deserved.

Thank you J.K. Rowling...

Balina More than 1 year ago
The book is definitely a must read. I have enjoyed reading it from start to finish.
skeleboy More than 1 year ago
I first purchased Breedle the Bard in the Atlanta, Georgia Airport, surprised to find it, for the release date was set to be December 4th, and, it being a Tuesday, read it nine days earlier! Not once did I pause to take a break--I was deeply consumed by the several stories, and I think you will be too. J. K. Rowling has certainly done it again!
Lauren_Smith More than 1 year ago
I think this book will be wonderful. For all the haters, the Harry Potter books could not have gone crappy after the franchise 'took over.' J.K. thought it up almost completely when she thought of it! She has had notes on the whole series since that first train ride. The people who think she is trying to get attention, she said she wanted to do a book like this before she finished Deathly Hallows. For those who dropped it for Twilight, I love Twilight, but it is not written as well as these books.
AmandaStockwell More than 1 year ago
I'm looking at reviews here and I'm seeing people complaining that it's not her usual writing style, or that there are so few regular characters mentioned, etc.

Has anyone here read the original Grimm Fairy Tales? Yes? Ah, then you see my point already! She is mimicking the style of those German brothers, using various stories and an older, less entertaining/descriptive writing style. Go ahead, look up the original Grimm-Cinderella. Then compare it to JKs Hairy Heart. See the resemblance? Dumbledore's added criticisms at the end keep the book from getting too drab, throwing in a voice we recognize that adds flavor to the somewhat bland book otherwise. I don't think the book was supposed to be entertaining overall. Interesting, with hidden morals? Yes, of course. Again, it emulates the older style that was used to make children behave well or learn something.

I will somewhat agree on the price-to-length ratio. If they kept the price but had waited a bit longer, added a few stories ... I think that would have made a difference. I understand that, by buying the book you are contributing to an organization for the well-being of children (as with the Monster Book of Monsters or the Quidditch handbook) but the price makes it a drag, even for die-hard Potter fans (myself included).

I think this is best for people who really really REALLY love Potter, willing to shell out $13. It's best for learning a bit about the history of the Wizarding world, a bit. It also includes some drama and controversy such as books in the real world do (for example, The Hopping Pot, apparently, can be told with a different ending, depending on whether or not the parents support Muggles) and might be good for sharing with young kids as one might with the Grimm fairy tales.

Now, do you all understand? It's not supposed to be another adventure story. It's a spin off of sorts from the Grimm fairy tales, but in the voice of the wizards from Harry Potter's world.
civilwargirl More than 1 year ago
I fully enjoyed The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling. As a Harry Potter fan it was fun to see this "wizarding classic" produced for Muggles. I loved Dumbledore's commentary and the listing of Hermione Granger. I hope that more of Beedle's tales will be published in following years.
LiodilesaysRAR More than 1 year ago
This book is really well-written and just PERFECT (unless you don't like reading about magic of course) It gives you more insight to the world of Harry Potter and is very interesting. I think it'll be a great read for a little kid or an older person. I'm glad JK Rowling called this book the good-bye with the world of Harry Potter because it's a great book. But of course, the world of Harry Potter will never end because it'll always be in your imagination. Wow, that just sounded really mushy. :):):):):)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have not yet read the Tales of Beedle the Bard so I came onto this site to first read the synopsis and then to read any reviews that might further help me to understand what this book is about so that I know what I'm getting myself into when I buy it for Christmas.

After reading the synopsis and then the reviews (some of them very helpful, others unfortunately not) am I to understand that The Tales of Beedle the Bard really have little to do with the actual series? Did it not state within the summary that the book is comprised of fairy tales told to wizarding children as bedtime stories? Why are people reviewing the independent installment as if it were supposed to be the eighth book of the Harry Potter series?

Again, I haven't read this book yet but I expect when I do, I'll find within its covers fairy tale stories, Dumbledore's commentary, and further explanations about the Wizarding world, not about Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, or Ron Weasley as the main characters.

Through interviews and television appearances, J.K Rowling had stated many times over that she meant for this book to be published sometime after the end of the series. I even believe she said that it would be unlike anything the public has seen her write before. So, it baffles my mind to see people rating her book lower for something she warned them about an entire year earlier.

And as for people comparing the Harry Potter series to the new Twilight series, I don't understand. The two series (both great in their own ways) have nothing to do with one another. Harry Potter is set in a fantastical world, filled with many different creatures and characters and meanings. Stephanie Meyers' Twilight series wasn't meant to be that. It was meant to recount a timeless love story between a vampire and a human girl. While Harry Potter lacked that kind of breathtaking love story, Twilight lacks the genius of creating an alternative universe filled with its own laws and ways of living. Each has this strengths and weaknesses but neither author nor series have anything to do with each other.

I want to thank those reviews on the book (some positive, some negative) who wrote helpful reviews that stuck to what the book was supposed to be about and worked from there to correctly inform people like me iffy about buying the book. Thank you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These are excellent stories, but the book itself was so short that I was able to read through it in one sitting. I don't think it's really worth the list price, but if you're a die-hard Harry Potter fan, it's enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5 parables that convey the moral messeges well.
These tales will be re-read and re-read for generations.
JK will live on through this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
thanks jkr for helping me dig out of a very very very very big hole all your books are amazing thanks to you i can act like a kid again you rock jkr people this book is going to be amazing i know their is going to be no midnight party for this harry potter book this book is going to rock and kick butt when its going to be released
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the Tales of Beedle the Bard. It was fun, and easy to read. Anyone would like this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Harry Potter Books opened up the world of reading to me, when I was younger. Then, through these books, I showed my brother, and every child I tutored, this world. I'm incredibly greatful for the series. Another book coming out might help other children understand that reading isn't boring and can take you anywhere. Not only does it help with personal writing skills and the English language, it allows the imagination to flow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is very informative about what kinds of stories young witches and wizards grew up hearing from their parents. Reading these tales (especially the Tale of the Three Brothers) helps you to understand the Deathly Hallows more fully. Also, it may not be the most engaging book with lots of plot twists and intriguing characters, but thats all right because its not supposed to be. I highly recommend this book to anybody who has finished the series. You can be assured that my kids won't be hearing tales like &quot;Cinderella&quot;, but rather magical stories like &quot;The Wizard and the Hopping Pot&quot;. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Several times in the main series J. K. Rowling references the witch/wizard fairy tales. This book gives us some samples and the most important one for the last book of the series. Each tale shows the advantage of being kind to others who are not like you. I wish it were in paperback, but it is small enough that I was willing to buy the hardback version.
like2read More than 1 year ago
J K Rowling adds yet another layer to the seemingly three dimensional mega-layered world she has already created. Tales of Beedle the Bard are a collection of moral fairy type tales that have been passed along from wizarding parents to their children down through the ages. The stories stand alone as cautionary tales for children who are just adjusting to their moral compasses. The commentary by Albus Dumbledore shows uninformed adults how politics has played a role thru the ages in how these stories were presented and received. Terrific read for the avid Harry Potter fan and great bedtime stories for the next generation.
rddog More than 1 year ago
I just finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and I went to a Christmas Eve party tonight. My cousin bought me Harry Potter Tales of Beetle the Bard, and I finished it in less than thirty minutes! I thought that it was amazing, and couldn't have been better. I hope J.K. Rowling writes more books in the world of Harry Potter. (Don't worry, for you people who haven't read Deathly Hallows, this is not a spoil review!) J.K. Rowling is an amazing author!!!!!!!!!!
H.P._Rowling More than 1 year ago
this book will be an absolute pleasure to read for any true harry potter fan!
FOlivo More than 1 year ago
J.K. Rowling is yet to disappoint me: Just loved it, the stories are fantastic and my daughter loved them! I read one for her last night and she was asking for more; so there you are people: It makes great bed stories for your muggles kids.

For those criticizing the book: GET A GRIP PLEASE, you rather tell a story of Cinderella that had to wait for someone else to come save her and blah blah blah, instead of reading a story that teaches ==if you have comprehension skills== that one can stand on its own and conquer our goals? Wow! It is hard on the writer because the Potter books are so great that every other own she writes will be compare, and to me, the Potter books are just too freaking good ==and movies are great as well==.

A++++ for this book, my only disappointment was the size, I could use more reading.
HARRYPOTTER86 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book. It's very absorbing. The second tale is my favorite. There's some action. It's STILL too short, and the pages are short. Still, there are many words that I don't know. This is not a 7 year old's book. Two tales are very violent and disturbing. Just as hard as your usual HP book, if not long as. It took me exactly 1 hour and 3 minutes. Don't judge the book by it's length! I also like "Dumbledore's commentaries". For grades 5 and up. AWESOME, great extra to Deathly Hallows. Buy it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont listen to the people that say dont get it. U SHOULD get it. U NEED to GET it. This book is actully mentioned in the Harry Potter books(fyi) this book is tales from the wizarding world. Like muggles have cinderella, snow white, peter rabbit, and all that. The wizarding world has similar stories only... its wizard stuff. Such as the tale of the three brothers, that story about the hairy heart, the fountain of fair fortune, and ect. Its a wonderful book that teach lessons to young wizards about how magic isnt always used for good. Even if ur not a Harry Potter fan, i still think these tales might entertain u. Plz take a look at them. Its a very good book. And for those who dont know... THIS IS NOT ONE OF THE SEVEN HARRY POTTER SERIES BOOKS. IT IS A BOOK THAY J.K.R. WROTE THAT GOES ALONG WITH HARRY POTTER. IF YOU R LOOKING FOR ONE OF THE SEVEN BOOKS THIS IS WHAT THEY R CALLED: (1) Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone (2) Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets (3) Harry Potter and the prisoner of azkaban (4) Harry Potter and the goblet of fire (5) Harry Potter and the order of the phoenix (6) Harry Potter and the half-blood prince (7) Harry Potter and the deathly hallows. LONG LIVE HARRY POTTER!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not a Novel,but a book that you can read in between the 6 and 7 books.they have all the fairy tales that wizards grew up with.
eowen_castle More than 1 year ago
JK Rowling has a devout following of millions thanks to her Harry Potter series, and I count myself as one of them. I NEVER thought I'd enjoy a "children's" book series as much as I loved Harry Potter. I think that's one of the reasons I bought Beedle the Bard, since I was going into Harry Potter withdrawal (the other reason was that the proceeds were going to charity). I thought the Tales of Beedle the Bard were nice fables to read to kids to teach them "life lessons" but it's no Harry Potter. The stories are short, and meant to be fables, and quite frankly you could read the whole thing in about an hour and a half, but you still kind of hope she throws in another Potter tale--but it's not there. So don't read it because you think this book will have anything to do with the Potter tale, but do read it if the magic world that she created beyond the Potter series is fascinating enough for you. So, I think it's a decent quick read, but doesn't compare with the captivation I felt when reading the Harry Potter series.