Beedle the Bard will be published to mass-market audiences!!!!!! If I could turn cartwheels or somersaults, I would!
Yes, the five tales left to Hermione Granger by Albus Dumbledore in the final Harry Potter book will be published on December 4, 2008. On Jo's web site this morning she announced that the runes were translated by Hermione Granger, illustrated by Jo herself, and with notes by Dumbledore. One story, "The Tale of the Three Brothers" was revealed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but the other four have never been revealed byond their titles: "The Fountain of Fair Fortune," "The Wizard and the Hopping-Pot," "Babbity-Rabbity and Her Cackling Stump," and "The Warlock's Hairy Heart." Jo created seven handwritten and hand-illustrated copies of the book, six of which were given to close friends and family. The seventh copy, with a moonstone on the cover, was purchased at a charity auction by Amazon for nearly $4 million dollars. It is this copy that is being published exactly one year after the auction, and all of the sales will again go to charity.
From the Guardian (U.K.):
The Children's High Level Group (CHLG), the charity Rowling co-founded in 2005, will now publish the collection of five tales in trade and "collector's" editions. The trade editions, retailing for £6.99, will feature additional commentary on each fairy tale from Professor Dumbledore and an introduction by Rowling.
In addition, Amazon is to produce up to a maximum of 100,000 collector's edition copies - which will aim to replicate closely the look and feel of the handmade original. These will go for £50, and feature 10 new illustrations by the author. All profits will go to CHLG, which works to improve life for children in residential care, currently focusing on eastern Europe.
So, yet another "Christmas present" from Jo will be given to children around the world this December. How many copies of the Tales of Beedle the Bard will be discovered in Christmas stockings? The pre-orders for the book make it the # 1 seller on Barnes and Noble today, and I'm sure the same can be said for Amazon.
No, I haven't pre-ordered yet. I'm waiting to see if there may be one more midnight Harry Potter party at Barnes and Noble before pre-ordering, of course. Jo continues to spin magic wherever she writes....