30 December 2008

Review: The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling

This hundred-page book of five tales was written by Rowling as a fund-raiser for the Children's High Level Group, a charity that promotes children's rights.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard has been extensively reviewed in the book-blogging world, and I have nothing to add but a few short thoughts.

The stories are mildly interesting and take the form of familiar folktales from around the world. Four of the stories are new, but the final entry in the collection--"The Tale of the Three Brothers"--is a reprint of a story told in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The commentary by Dumbledore is more interesting than the tales themselves and will appeal to older Harry Potter fans.

Unfortunately, the book was not well edited (grammar and punctuation issues pop up throughout), which I found distracting. On the other hand, the drawings by Rowling herself are delightful, and Harry Potter lovers (like me!) will want this volume to complete their collection of the series.

I have not looked into the charity that will benefit from the proceeds of this book, but on the surface, it seems to be a good cause.

Published by the Children's High Level Group, 2008
ISBN-13: 9780545128285
Rating: C-


Alea 12/30/08, 8:53 AM  

I just finished this, this morning! I loved that the illustrations were done by Rowling. I was sort of hoping that it would be a more lengthy volume, possibly like those huge several hundred page volumes of fairytales. That would have been awesome!

Unknown 12/30/08, 9:05 AM  

I got this for Christmas, but I've been holding off reading it b/c i know I'll read it so fast. I'm not super excited about it b/c nothing can compare to the actual books. :)

I wonder if the proof errors are because she hand wrote the original and they kept the errors or if they just messed up editing.

Beth F 12/30/08, 9:18 AM  

Alea: I do like the illustrations and I am an HP fan, so of course I had to have and read the book. I thought it lacked the magic of HP. I would have loved to have seen more tales.

Laza: I'm guessing that the book was rushed into production to make the holiday season.

Alea 12/30/08, 9:20 AM  

It sort of reminded me of the other one-off books she kept referencing like the mythical beasts one or whatever that is called. It's the same world but it's just a lot of background extra information.

bermudaonion 12/30/08, 10:38 AM  

I gave this to my hubby for Christmas, and so far he hasn't found it enthralling.

S. Krishna 12/30/08, 10:47 AM  

I've gotten this one but haven't read it yet - the poor editing is disappointing!

Olga 12/30/08, 3:00 PM  

This is sitting in my TBR pile, a late birthday present. I've thumbed through it, and the illustrations are certainly eye-fetching. I always thought she should have provided her own illustrations in the Harry Potter books. She's got a good hand for doodles. At the very least, they would have made the chapter pages more interesting. But with those tight deadlines she had to follow, it probably didn't make any sense to have her do more than she had to!

Anonymous,  12/30/08, 3:29 PM  

My 10-yr-old found this in his Christmas stocking. He hasn't complained about the editing/punctuation ... but then again, he's 10! That type of error really jumps out at -me-

Anonymous,  12/30/08, 5:36 PM  

This book was one my granddaughter (she's 10) received for Christmas and was raving to me about it. I am not a HP person so I had no idea what she was talking about. Now I know. Thanks, Beth.

Michele 12/30/08, 6:06 PM  

I so liked this one...it just seemed to complete the whole collection. ;)

Anonymous,  12/30/08, 11:55 PM  

I wanted to read this, but really have too much on my plate. I think I'll let either Jim or Nona get this one. ;)

Maria Verivaki 6/7/09, 9:26 AM  

i was tempted to buy it, but i thought it was simply too commercially oriented rather than a truly necessary component in the harry potter series (which i have read twice and own all books, including the first book in ancient greek!)

i would be really annoyed if i had to put up with grammar and punctuation errors, especially in such a hype-up publication

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