Reviews provided by Syndetics
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4 Up-Muggles grow up with Grimm's fairy tales; wizarding children grow up with Tales of Beedle the Bard. The Bard's book is a collection of five tales, bequeathed to Hermione Granger by Professor Dumbledore. The passing of the book into her hands was intended to be both "entertaining and instructive." As in all good mysteries, information contained within its pages provided Hermione with clues essential to helping Harry in the series' last installment. In particular, "The Tale of Three Brothers" describes how three magical items appeared after siblings cleverly cheat death. It is these items that play a pivotal role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Scholastic, 2007). Those hoping to re-create the hours of pleasure spent curled up with a J.K. Rowling book may be disappointed at the brevity of this title, but they will undoubtedly enjoy the tales and Dumbledore's often lengthy, cynical-but-wise commentary on each one.-Robyn Gioia, Bolles School, Ponte Vedra, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007), Hermione Granger is left a book from the late Dumbledore's collection, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a collection of fairy tales young wizards heard growing up. In 2007, Rowling handwrote and illustrated 7 copies of Beedle the Bard, one of which was auctioned off for millions of dollars with the proceeds going to charity. Originally, there was to be no mass publication of the book, but the desire for all things Potter by Harry's fans could not be denied. And so, readers can now own their own copies of this odd little book of five tales, complete with the commentary of Albus Dumbledore. Of most interest will be The Tale of the Three Brothers, whose story directly impacts on Harry's saga as revealed in the series final volume. But the other quirky tales have their own appeal, especially for dedicated fans. Using familiar fairy-tale elements, such as a magical pot and three brothers on a quest, the stories seem straightforward until Dumbledore's edifying commentary turns them on their head. Without the usual hoopla surrounding publication of a Rowling novel, this little curiosity will probably attract only Potter fanatics, but it will also be of marginal interest to all those readers who still miss Harry and would like one more shot at the wizarding world.--Cooper, Ilene Copyright 2009 Booklist
Horn Book Review
(Intermediate) Presented as a collection of folktales from the magical world of Harry Potter, Rowling's follow-up to the best-selling series functions on several levels: the tales themselves; the brief analysis of each by, ostensibly, Albus Dumbledore; and the anecdotes embedded in those commentaries. From "The Fountain of Fair Fortune," a Wizard of Oz-esque teaching story about inner riches, to "The Warlock's Hairy Heart," a morbid narrative of emotional repression that ends in the titular warlock cutting out his beloved's heart, the tales are filled with the quirky details Rowling's fans expect. Taken at face value, the commentaries are actually somewhat pedantic ("As we have already seen, Beedle's first two tales attracted criticism of their themes of generosity, tolerance, and love") but nevertheless offer devoted Potterphiles tidbits of wizarding culture and history (including the dastardly doings of Malfoy forebears), conveyed in Dumbledore's distinctive voice. The minimalist style, tone, and character construction of the tales all differ significantly from those of Rowling's novels -- as they should, given the folkloric conceit -- but the additional content will appeal primarily to those already steeped in the details of Harry's universe. From HORN BOOK, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.