Customer Reviews of The Tales of Beedle the Bard
I wish there had been more.
Though I enjoyed the individual stories very much, I think what really made the book was Dumbledore's footnotes. Those brought me back to the great feeling of what it is to be a Harry Potter fan. I particularly loved his comments about members of the Malfoy family, and the woman who was too sensitive for some of Beedle's tales, Blaxum I think the name was. The illustrations are also surprisingly good, considering they were done by Rowling. I knew she could draw to an extent, I just didn't know what that extent was.
I'll probably be reading these to my kids more often than Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. Beedle's stories are so short, yet I already prefer them simply because of the subtle message they would to little girls as opposed to the message Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty might send.
Physical Quality and Description of Collector's Edition
I was thrilled on Thursday to have received in the mail my copy of the collector's edition of JK Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard. It was shipped well in a doubled up cardboard box that fit it perfectly (actually had the name of the book on the box, so it was made specifically to ship this book. When you open it, it's in a thin white cardboard cover that says "this side up"
When you slip it out of that cover, you see a wonderful fake leather "book" that is about 10 1/4 x 12 1/4 x 2 3/4 inches. The binding has the name, author and small drawing in gold lettering; the front cover is the name, author and decorative drawn border pressed into the faux leather. The back cover has part of the same drawing pressed in.
When you open it up, you find that it's a case for the actual book that is imbedded into the middle, covered in a lovely red velvet bag with JK Rowling's signature embroidered in gold. The draw strings are also gold. On the left side there is a folder with Collector's Edition Prints. They are beautiful, and can either be framed, or kept tucked away in this case.
The actual book it's self is great quality. Dark brown, with silver decorative pieces on top each piece having emerald colored stones in them. This includes the side clasp. There is also an emerald colored ribbon bookmark.
The introduction is a straight copied from JK's original work that Amazon purchased. If you're not the best with handwriting, some words can be a little hard to read. After the intro, it switches to a very Harry potter/magic like font that works well with telling the stories. All together with the stories, Dumbledore's comments, and JK's comments, it took me about an hour to read straight through.
This edition was worth every penny for someone who really loves Harry Potter, and wants quality.
Beedle is Brilliant, as expected
The Tales of Beedle the Bard was a wonderful read. Not only did we get four original tales from Beedle, aside from The Tale of the Three Brothers from Deathly Hallows, but there was insightful and entertaining commentary provided by none other than Albus Dumbledore himself which he wrote 18 months before his death. Jo was kind enough to provide additional info that Muggles may not be accustomed to as well.
We not only got some interesting insight about the background of the stories and Beedle's inspiration for writing them, but we got neat little tidbits about the Wizarding World as well, such as some background into Nearly Headless Nick's demise, Professor Kettleburn (the CoMC teacher before Hagrid), some of Malfoy's relatives, as well as several other awesome facts that JKR never got to include in the main series.
Out of all of the stories, I'd have to say that my favorite is The Fountain of Fair Fortune, although they're all amazing as I knew they would be.
All in all it was, as Jo Rowling always produces, a wonderfully imaginative, entertaining, brilliant read, with dashes of humor here and there that she has mastered so wonderfully. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, therefore, comes highly recommended!
P.S. Grumble the Grubby Goat FTW.
Admittedly as the time neared and having ordered multiple copies I was having trepidation about what I might end up with. Let me just say, I no longer feel that way. The packing box itself is collectible, warning Muggles to not distribute this before Dec 4th. That was a nice beginning to the opening of this gem. As others have said, the packaging is phenomenal and when I slid the main box out of its protective cover I gave a gasp - it is a thing of beauty. Alone it is truly one of the all-time great book boxes (I collect them). I was worried it was going to be vinyl but not it looks like a real, old Hogwarts book. They did themselves proud with that. Then I opened the box which I found very well made and gave another gasp - there was a beautiful velvet interior with the pouch and the prints. I took out the pouch and brought out the tome and gave my 3rd gasp - it is a thing of terrifying beauty. All in all, a very high quality presentation and surely to end up a valued treasure in anyone's library, certainly mine. Bravo Amazon! Thank you for replicating your amazing purchase and thank you for making it truly legendary. Bravo!
Update: I will reinterate what other's have said - the collectible edition is a remarkable piece of work. I love that book, it is beautifully done - the cover, the metal decorations, the paper, the fontography are all gorgeous. But let me tell you a secret. You see, I am a collector of book boxes as well and let me tell you, the book box that the collector's book comes in has to be the prize of my book box collection. I was expecting something of lesser quality - a seamed vinyl covered cardboard thing like the other Potter materials. It is not that. It is a beautiful piece of work that looks and feels like engraved leather. I've shown this around to other collectors of magic and they were highly impressed. They, like me, felt the book box alone was worth it. Sorry, just had to share my fetish.
Like Sitting Down with an Old Friend
Like the fairy tales of old, The Tales of Beedle the Bard have good, evil, and blood. The first two tales are appropriate for any age, the other three should be read by a parent before reading them to younger children.
If a reader is familiar with the tales of the Brothers Grimm he/she will appreciate the similar feel of these tales by Rowling. Most fairy tales are in nature dark, many even gruesome - despite what Disney has done to them. Rowling doesn't shy away from that particular element of true fairy tales, and even makes fun of how others soften them up (during one of Dumbledore's commentaries.)
I also found shades of tongue-in-cheek personal humor: Imposters posing as wizards, possessing no true magic - um, yes, Ms. Rowling, I agree that there are hack writers who get lucky and are held up only by a whole lot of hype, and then there are the real writers who produce real magic, and who's hard work and talent got them where they are, not a team of marketers.
On that note, many may try to weave tales of wonderment like the Harry Potter series, but no one will ever take J.K. Rowling's crown. Hail to the Queen! Please grace us with your presence again soon!
Your devoted fans miss you terribly! Though I really liked these tales, I long to get sucked in by your sweeping plots, and become best friends with your characters. I literally get teary-eyed when I think that there won't be a new Harry Potter book coming out this summer! PLEASE GIVE US ANOTHER SERIES! :)