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The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Tales of Beedle the Bard Book Poster Image
Four kid-friendly stories for Potter fans; one gruesome one.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Each tale teaches a lesson, though some of them have more application to the world of wizards than to ours.


A very gruesome chapter in which a man cuts out a woman's heart, licks and strokes it, then cuts out his own heart. This includes an illustration of this scene. Also, a fatal duel, a throat-slitting, and a suicide.


A reference to "fondling some Horklumps."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A man gets drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, among several child-friendly and enjoyable tales is one gruesome one, in which a man cuts out a woman's heart, licks and strokes it, then cuts out his own heart. This includes an illustration of this scene.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 year old Written bySkoieb January 11, 2015
The Warlock's Hairy Heart should be ok'd by a parent first.
Parent of a 13 and 14 year old Written byKamille G. December 6, 2018

Really Good!

I believe that there are lots of good values in this book. Especially in The Deathly Hollows. I also like that J K Rowling made this book for charity donations!... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byXDMorsemordreXD December 29, 2011

Fun and Imaginative!

J.K Rowling writes five charming Wizarding fairy tales in The Tales of Beedle the Bard! This fun read is even greater when reading along side Harry Potter and t... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old January 16, 2009


best of j.k. rowling

What's the story?

In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a book of wizarding fairytales played a crucial part in the plot. This is that book, first auctioned for millions, and now available to everyone. It consists of five short stories, with commentary on each by Albus Dumbledore and introduction, illustrations, and notes by J. K. Rowling.

Is it any good?

Rowling certainly has the magic touch; for the most part, this literary trifle is a delight. It shows her wicked humor, the depth and complexity of the world she created, and even some pungent skewering of our own world, morality tales in general, the egregious work of the woman who tried to sue her, and her critics. About half of the book is Dumbledore's commentary which, with its many references to events and elements in the Harry Potter series for fans to catch, will bring joy to hearts that have been forlorn since the final book was finished.

Unfortunately this collection, which is accessible to even the youngest fans, is marred by one overly gruesome story ("The Warlock's Hairy Heart," see content advisories for details). But for older kids, reading these stories, catching all the references, and fitting it into the world in which they love immersing themselves will be an all-too quickly finished pleasure. Rowling has the magic touch all right -- let's hope she decides to use it often in the years to come.

From the Book:

At once there came a loud clanging and banging from his kitchen. The wizard lit his wand and opened the door, and there, to his amazement, he saw his father's old cooking pot. It had sprouted a single foot of brass, and was hopping on the spot in the middle of the floor, making a fearful noise upon the flagstones. The wizard approached it in wonder, but fell back hurriedly when he saw that the whole of the pot's surface was covered in warts.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the unusual way this book was produced and marketed: first as a handwritten, illustrated, and bound book auctioned for millions, then after a year's delay, an edition for the rest of us, along with a very expensive special edition. Why did they do it this way? Why would people spend so much money for it? What makes this book more interesting or special than others?

Book details

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