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It seemed approriate to review this as it has only been released a couple of weeks (Thursday 4th December 2008) and I would love to be the first to review this amazing book! P.S. I am the biggest Harry Potter EVER!!!
---About The Book--- The Tales Of The Beedle And The Bard, as many Harry Potter fans will know, is one of the books actually mentioned and used in the last Harry Potter book. In the "Deathly Hallows", the 7th and last book in the series, the late Albus Dumbledore leaves it for Hermione in his will. In the book, it is described as our version of fairy tales, like Cinderella and Snow White. There exceptionally well known by every witch and wizard in the Wizarding world. So of course us muggles need to read it.
In the Deathly Hallows, Hermione describes the book as a small, very old ancient looking book. This gives the idea that it is filled with wisdom and has a lot to say. It is covered in odd symbols, the most important we find out to be a major clue later on the book which is found in one of the stories mentioned in the book "The Tale Of The Three Brothers." This becomes a major part of the finale of the book as we find out the specific symbol, described as a triangle, with a circle inside with a line going down the centre. This recommends a factor from the tale, The Resurection Stone, The Invisibility Cloak (which Harry inherited from his father) and the Elder Wand. In particular the Elder Wand is exceptionally important.
As the story of the Deathly Hallows unravels, we find that the three brothers may have actually been the creator of the Deathly Hallows. This may not sound like anything if you haven't read the last book however as all Harry Potter readers will know, this is vital for Harry's survival. This is a very important book, in the Deathly Hallows which sounds odd, that a book is so important in a book.
---Why Is JK Releasing This?--- Us fans, found out that about 6 months after finishing the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling gave 6 copies of the "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" to the 6 people who have helped her on her way. This was such a nice gesture, however us fans felt we were missing out. The books she gave were jewel incrusted, and had a beautiful silver skull on them. Not like the book where the cover was old, tatty and had the title of the book boldly printed on it.
Using fan websites and letters (plus emails and maybe owls?) fans were able to tell her that we would love if she could realease it as an accompanying book. It was then released on the news that it WAS to be released as a book on the 4th of December 2008. This made fans all over the world so excited. Not only could we get to read something that had been so important to the book, it was also nice to have something Harry Potter related. We have to wait 217 days (to the date that this review is published) and there are no more books to look forward too. We need something to quench the thirst of Pottermania from all over the world.
---Where To Get It/Price--- I got mine this, this morning in WHSmith. There was a big deal on in which if you buy more than £15 of items, you get the book for 99p. Excellent, as the RRP is £6.99. So I was able to get it for a very cheap 99p which I thought was excellent. You can buy it from almost any where which sells books, especially as it is just newly released. Asda, Tescos, Amazon, Border Books and so many more are selling the book. Every book purchase will be making money for the charity in which JK Rowling, and MEP (Member Of The European Parliament) Baroness Nicolson of Winterbourne. The charity is called Childrens High Level Group (CHLG) which is to help abandoned children, and help vulnerable children and young people. £1.61 of the money will be going to that, and there is a section at the very end of the book dedicated to make sure that readers know about the charity.
Oh and of course, if you want one of the originals that JK hand wrote, one was sold by Amazon for wait for it...
So if you have that in you bank account you will be able to get an original hand written copy. I suppose that would cost millions of Ciao credit to get it...!
---Introduction--- I was so excited to hold the book. It has a very smooth cover which has a blue tree stump in the centre, which symbolises one of the stories in the book. On the back we are told that there will be notes from none other than Albus Dumbledore himself. This makes me more excited that even though it is only accompanying the Harry Potter book, there is still mentions of characters.
As you open the book you see a mention of Hermione, which you can realise that Hermione has obviously used her 'Ancient Runes' OWL (Wizarding qualification, like a standard grade or a GCSE) to good use. The illistrations on the front page are excellent and look really magical. Wow!---The Stories--- There are five stories in total in book. Plus at the start and introduction from the author and the message at the end from Baroness Nicolson of Winterbourne.
The Wizard And The Hopping Pot
The Fountain Of Fair Fortune
The Warlocks Hairy Heart
Babbitty Rabbitty And Her Cackling Stump
The Tale Of Three Brothers
The introduction at the start gives the history of who Beedle The Bard was and how it was used to help young witches and wizards not only to sleep, but to show them suttlely that magic causes as much trouble as it does cures. There is a lovely comment where JK says that the notes have been 'graciously granted permission' to use Dumbledores notes in the book. This is such a nice feature to add some realism (even though it is fantasy.) JK writes the introduction like she was the middle man in getting the book published to the muggle world. It is a truly excellent introduction.
I'm not planning to write anything about the actual stories as YOU WILL JUST HAVE TO READ IT TO FIND OUT but what I will say is, there is so definate connections between it and our 'muggle' fairy tales. They are all bascially, those who are bad will get in trouble, and heros and heroines will always triumph. One of the stories is very good I would recommend "Babbitty Rabbitty And The Cackling Stump" which is an excellent story. It is a good fun, light read.
---Just For Harry Potter Fans?--- NO! I am planning to read these stories to my brothers as they would be excellent for them. They are to do with Harry Potter but the only mention of HIS name is in the copyright at the start. It is suitable for young muggles (as well as young wizards and witches!) and would be an excellent book to read to children. However us Harry Potter fans love it as it is part of the series so buy it for that reason.
The font is large and easy to read. There are a lot of illistrations so would be excellent for readers learning. The stories are just as 'dark' Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty or Hansel And Gretel. They aren't all 'life is great' but they are very interesting, magical and thrilling. Harry Potter fans will love it but fantasy loving, young readers will also really enjoy the book, even if they have never read any of the Harry Potter books before.
---Conclusion--- This would be suitable for Primary school children and great for lovers of Harry Potter. I loved this book, simply because it was related to Harry Potter. There are lots of offers on it right now so if you see it, it would be an excellent Christmas present for a young child or any Harry Potter lover (although I think they may have got their copy by now!) and it is going to a great cause.
An excellent book, with the innocence of childhood but the greatness of knowing that Hermione used it in the trios quest to destroy Voldemort.
P.S. I had bought this 6 hours ago, before writing my original review on this. It has been sitting in the drafts box for ages!