"Beedle the Bard": the next must-have for Harry Potter fans

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It's being described as the next "must-have" for Harry Potter fans and it goes on sale at midnight tonight. That's "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," the much-anticipated book of fairy tales by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling.

In London, according to the Guardian, fans are flying in from as far away as New Zealand to get their hands on an early copy of the 8 million books that have already been printed worldwide.

"The Tales of Beedle the Bard" has a very particular pedigree.  The book is mentioned in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" (the last book of the Harry Potter series) as a fairy tale collection known to all Wizarding children.

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After finishing the seventh and final book of the Harry Potter series, Rowling began working on "Beedle the Bard." The book was originally produced as seven handmade copies, complete with drawings by Rowling. She intended the books as gifts for various friends, "six key people who have been very closely connected to the 'Harry Potter' series," Rowling said at the time, "people for whom a piece of jewelery wasn't going to cut it."

The seventh was sold at an auction at Sotheby's and fetched a price of $3.98 million which Rowling donated to charity.

But now all Rowling's fans will be able to have their own copies of "Beedle."

The book consists of five stories entitled "The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,"  "The Fountain of Fair Fortune," "The Warlock's Hairy Heart," "Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump," and "The Tale of the Three Brothers."

The book has not been reviewed much yet (although you can be sure that will change soon.) But according to Wikipedia, Sotheby's deputy director Dr. Philip W. Errington described the handmade edition as "one of the most exciting pieces of children's literature" to have passed through the auction house.

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