Friday, January 02, 2009

Review: The Tales of Beedle the Bard (and Friday Fill-Ins)

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Children’s High Level Group, 2008
Fantasy (YA); 111 pgs

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling is a delightful story book full of magical fairytales straight out of the Harry Potter world. Translated by Hermione Granger with comments by Albus Dumbledore, this collection of five stories is a perfect addition to an already wonderful series. Readers are introduced to the tales told to young wizards and witches, each one carrying important lessons that even young muggles will benefit from.

There is the story about the ungrateful and selfish son of a wizard who does not share his father’s generous and kind spirit. The young wizard soon discovers that a gift left behind by his late father proves to be more than it seems. In another tale, a prideful warlock who wanted nothing to do with love suddenly decides to uncover his cold heart, but at what price? Then there is the envious king seeking magic all for himself at the cost of the lives of the witches and wizards in his kingdom. Will his greed and ignorance prove to be his downfall? My favorite tale of the bunch is about three witches and a knight, each seeking resolution to their greatest problems by climbing a hill to reach a fountain that promises them just that. The only catch? Only one of them will be able to soak in the Fountain of Fair Fortune, which will grant one of them his or her wish. Perhaps the most famous of the stories is the one of The Tale of the Three Brothers, which makes an appearance in the Harry Potter series. It proved to be a telling tale and in its original incarnation.. The three brothers cheat death, and Death grants them each one gift of their choice, hoping to ensnare them yet again.

The best part of this little book of stories is not the tales themselves, but Dumbledore’s commentary. He offers his own interpretation of each one along with the stories’ histories and how they have been perceived over the ages. His comments are both meaningful and hilarious. I found myself giggling quite often.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a fun and entertaining collection of stories. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you don’t want to miss this one!

1. The world is getting awfully heavy for Atlas.

2. "I love you" to my husband was the last thing I said.

3. I wonder why the fire hydrant outside attracts front bumpers.

4. My nose will be buried in a book at the end of all things.

5. There's something to be said for wearing socks on a cold day.

6. At home with my husband and furkids is where I want to be.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to snuggling under the warm covers and getting a good night's sleep; tomorrow my plans include sleeping in (if the animals let me) and taking my husband out on a date for lunch and a movie; and Sunday, I want to curl up on the couch and spend hours lost in a book!


  1. I've been on the fence a little about Beedle the Bard, but I've been seeing good reviews, so I'll probably end up reading it at some point.

    I like your answer to #1, and agree about #5. By our thin-blooded local standards, it's been a bit chilly lately!

    Have a great weekend, Wendy!

  2. Florinda - This Rowling book is definitely not Harry Potter. It's pure fluff--light and whimsical.

    It's been warmer lately, thank goodness, but I'm still bundling up at night.

    I hope you have a good weekend too, Florinda.

  3. I bought Beedle the Bard for my hubby for Christmas and hope to get to it soon.

  4. Yeah, my dogs sometimes don't want me to sleep past 730 or so! Happy New Year :-)

  5. Your weekend sounds wonderful!


  6. I loved Dumbledores notes, definitely the best part for me! Glad you enjoyed it.

  7. I am a big Harry Potter fan, but hadn't pursued this yet, as I have heard mixed reviews. A 10 year old classmate of my daughter's said he read it over the weekend, so what do I have to lose?

  8. Kathy - I hope you like it! My husband's planning to read it this weekend if he finishes his current book.

    Janet - Try 5:30 am in my house. LOL Since that's when I get up for work during the week, they are all programmed to get me up at that time even when my alarm's not set.

    I am so sorry about your dad, Janet. I hope your New Year picks up.

    Yvonne - I'm hoping for a good one!

    Mariel - Dumbledore is such a great character.

    Sandy - I think it's important to keep in mind that it is frivolous reading. And it does seem aimed at a younger audience (just my opinion though). You can knock it out in no time. It's short and quick.

  9. I have Beedle the Bard sitting on my coffee table - is next in line :)

    The greatest dog who ever owned me was a marvelous Rotty and his name was Atlas. When I first saw him he was almost as solidly wide as he was long - I could imagine him holding the world on his shoulders. He was a soul fur-mate and even 15 years after he passed on to wait for me in heaven I still miss him.

  10. When we had kitties, they used to wake me up promptly every morning at 4AM for breakfast! If I wasn't up by 4:15, they'd jump on me and pull my hair until I got up. Whenever I contemplate getting another cat, I just think about how nice it is to sleep past 4AM. Have a great weekend!

  11. I love your answers to #3 & #4. It definitely seems like a snuggle up and be cozy kind of day today!
    I filled-in my Friday Fill-Ins today too.

  12. Sally - I hope you enjoy it!

    It sounds like your Atlas was really something special. Our animals become so much a part of our lives.

    Joy - That is early! I imagine you were going to bed fairly early then. My animals take turns waking me up early. And some days, when I try to go back to sleep, they'll take turns picking on me until I actually get up. I think they conspire against me on those occasions.

    Christina - Yes, it definitely has been that kind of day. Thank you for stopping by Christina!

  13. I'm just reading Tales of Beedle the Bard. It is really cute so far and being a huge Harry Potter fan, of course I love it. Have fun on your date with hubby tomorrow-sounds like a nice plan for the day.

  14. You crack me up with #1 & #3.
    I agree with #5, can't imagine not doing that.

    My FFI is here

    Happy New Year!

  15. Dar - It is fun, isn't it? And thank you! It's nice to get out once in a while.

    Smariek - Thanks! LOL We've had a few accidents where cars hit that fire hydrant. It's really bizarre.

  16. I really need to get a copy of Beedle the Bard! Sounds really great!! I love how ambitious you're going to be this weekend!! :)

  17. I got Beedle the Bard for my daughter for Christmas. I'm hoping she'll lend it to me!

    Sounds like you have a great weekend planned!

  18. Love your #5,6, & 8! I love cuddling with my dogs & a good book:)

  19. I really enjoyed reading this book, Wendy, and I agree with you that Dumbledore's commentary is the best read on top of the tales itself.

    Hope you've a great weekend, Wendy! :)

  20. Staci - Haha! Well, I do have all of these challenges I have to read for . . . ;-)

    Myckyee - I hope she will too! I'm looking forward to the weekend, although said it means the end of my vacation.

    Nancy - I think you'd like it. :-)

    Julie - That's the best combination, isn't it? :-)

    Melody - Dumbledore is the best! I hope you have a good weekend too, Melody.

  21. Oh nice. I was wondering what Rowling woudl do after the Harry Potter series. I thought she would end up being a one trick pony, a genius one trick pony, but still. I am sensing a great new title for younger kids, but still.

  22. I'm looking forward to this one, but I still can't help feeling disappointed in how short it is! I've heard that Dumbledore's analysis is great--glad you liked it as well!

  23. We are currently halfway thru Beedle & are very much enjoying it!

    My husband and I read out loud before we go to sleep, we started years ago when the first HP came out and we both wanted to read it. We have pretty much stuck to YA, Artemis Fowl is a favorite and Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series was great, too. We both look forward to our storytime! Silly, isn't it?

    Have a wonderful weekend! Sounds like a great plan, especially if it is cold outside.

  24. The commentary added so much to the book. I'm glad you enjoyed it too :)

  25. Harry - She's working on something independent of Harry Potter now, I've heard. It'll be interesting to see what she comes up with.

    Trish - Yes, it is really short. I got so use to her writing big books there at the end.

    Tome Traveller - How neat! I love that you read to each other at bedtime. I don't think it's silly at all. I hope you have a wonderful week too.

    Nymeth - The commentary really did add to it.

  26. Completely independent as in the whole world and mythologys he has set up in the Harry Potter series? Oh, this should be interesting!

  27. Harry - Yes, that's what J.K. Rowling has said. I agree, it should be interesting!

  28. Oh, now my reader appendix is tingly!! Hope she doesn't make us wait too much.

  29. I got Tales of Beedle the Bard for my birthday but I haven't started it yet.

  30. Harry - Haha! I know the feeling!

    Jen - I think you'll like it, Jen! :-)

  31. I agree with you that it's Dumbledore’s commentary that makes the book better. I'm glad you enjoyed the stories.

    Have a great week ahead and enjoy your break! :)

  32. Alice - I hope you have a good week too, Alice!

  33. My fifteen year old son and I both enjoyed this little book. I wrote a page about it at The Tales of Beedle The Bard Book Review and I would be delighted if you would visit and leave your opinion of the book.

  34. The more reviews I see of this book the more eager I am to read it. It sounds wonderful (especially the Dumbledore commentary)!

  35. Brenda - I am glad you and your son enjoyed it too, Brenda. Thank you for the link!

    Jeane - It's really cute. :-)

  36. This book isn't at the top of my list, but since I read all the Harry Potters, I plan to read it eventually. I've heard good things about it, and I definitely want to read the Dumbledore parts.

    Diary of an Eccentric

  37. Anna - It is good for a moment when you need something extra light and short.


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