Review: The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, by J.K. Rowling

The Quick Synopsis
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 notations by Albus Dumbledore, which were found among his effects after his untimely death.
Whether there was ever a washerwoman who was able to transform into a rabbit is open to doubt; however, some magical historians have suggested that Beedle modeled Babbitty on the famous French sorceress Lisette de Lapin, who was convicted of witchcraft in Paris in 1422. To the astonishment of her Muggle guards, who were later tried for helping the witch to escape, Lisette vanished from her prison cell the night before she was due to be excuted. Although it has never been proven that Lisette was an Animagus who managed to squeeze throught the bars of her cell window, a large white rabbit was subsequently seen crossing the English Channel in a cauldron with a sail fitted to it, and a similar rabbit later became a trusted advisor at the court of King Henry VI.*
*This may have contributed to that Muggle King's reputation for mental instability.
Albus Dumbledore commentary on "Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump."
from The Tales of Beedle the Bard, by J.K. Rowling

The Literary Criticism
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 Dumbledore's notations more interesting.

The Recommendation
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.

A photo of the original Tales of the Beedle Bard, handwritten by
J.K. Rowling. Sold at auction for a cool $4 million.
No, really. I'm not making this up.

*A Note Regarding the Publisher: The Tales of Beedle the Bard is published by the Children's High Level Group, which is a registered charity. All net proceeds from the sale of this novel will be donated to The Children's Voice campaign, which champions children's rights across Europe.

Title: The Tales of Beedle the Bard
Author: J.K. Rowling
ISBN-13: 978-0545128285
107 pages
Publisher: Children's High Level Group
Date: December 4, 2008

Other Reviews from Blogland:

Dark Lord Center
Out of the Blue
Temporary Worlds
Bryan's Book Blog
The Book Lady's Blog
Pipe Dreams and Professions
Wrighty's Reads


  1. I'm curling up with this tonight -- my reward for surviving a very hectic week!

  2. I can't wait to read this one!

  3. I bought this yesterday. Hoping to get to it today -- if I get enough work done.

  4. I'm giving this to my hubby for Christmas. That way, I can read it, too.

  5. I'll raise my hand as possibly the only person who hasn't read a Harry Potter book (and really have no desire to). My daughter however loves them.

  6. I am a huge fan of Harry Potter and can't wait to read this. I'll be ordering it this week.

  7. Thank you for linking to my review!

  8. I didn't realize there was commentary! Oh, I hope I'm right in suspecting that I'll be getting this for Christmas... if not, I'll be heading out on the 26th to pick it up for myself! ;)

  9. I bought this for my nephew for Christmas. I thought I might just peek at it before I wrap it up!

  10. I want to read this book too. I am just waiting for it to come in paperback. Yes, I am cheap...

  11. Violet - the good news is that many retailers are offering up to 40% off of the retail price, so you can pick it up for around $8. And all proceeds from the sale go to charity. It made me feel better to know that I wasn't feeding the J.K. Rowling machine, ha ha.

  12. This will find its way into one of the Christmas stockings at our house :)

  13. My husband up and bought this just for fun (and because it was on sale) a couple weeks ago. He and my oldest loved it. I need to get to it... eventually.

    BTW, I got my secret Santa present in the mail today. Thanks for the chocolates -- fancy enough for me and so my girls won't eat them! -- and bookmark! The others are waiting to be opened on Christmas. I'll blog about it after then. :)

  14. $4 Million ?@@@@ Whattttt!!
    Well I will buy this later i need to get to the book 7.. yah didn't read it yet :)

  15. I enjoyed all of the Harry Potter books, so I probably will read this at some point. Sounds interesting.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  16. I've read and enjoyed all the Harry Potter books but for some reason I'm not feeling inclined to run out and read this asap. I'm sure I'll like it and get a copy sooner than later. Maybe after the hectic holidays.
    It is nice that the proceeds are going to charity.

  17. Well, I wasn't going to buy it, just borrow from the library. However, I was way down on the waiting list. So I'm giving it to my hubby for Christmas. Ha ha. Won't he be surprised? I think I will enjoy it.

  18. I thought Dumbledore's commentary made the little book worth reading.

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