Scholastic unveiled one of only seven original copies of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," created, handwritten and illustrated by J.K. Rowling. The volume will be on view from December 4 through January 4 in a free exhibit at The New York Public Library's Humanities and Social Sciences Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The display coincides with the international publication of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard." Besides the once in a lifetime opportunity for Harry Potter fans to view the interior and exterior of the original book the exhibit also includes a video of the owner reading one of the tales, and visuals of several pages of the book.
In addition, to celebrate the launch of the exhibit and the publication of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," Scholastic will donate 3 copies of the book to each of The New York Public Library's 87 branches, which are located throughout the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island.
The original copy, 157 pages bound in brown Moroccan leather and embellished with five hand-chased hallmarked sterling silver ornaments and mounted moonstones, is made available for public viewing with the permission of Arthur A. Levine, Scholastic co-editor of all seven books in the Harry Potter series. Arthur was one of only six people to receive an original edition of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" as a personal gift from J.K. Rowling.
The seventh copy was given to the Children's High Level Group, a charity co-founded in 2005 by J.K. Rowling and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, MEP to make life better for vulnerable children. CHLG auctioned off its copy which was acquired by Amazon for $4 million in December 2007. The limited run New York Public Library exhibit is the only planned viewing in the U.S. of any of the seven original books created by J.K. Rowling.
In response to the many requests from fans who sought copies of "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," The Children's High Level Group will publish three versions of the book in cooperation with Scholastic, Bloomsbury and Amazon. These books will hit stores in the U.S., U.K. and online on December 4, 2008 and all net proceeds will go to supporting the work of the charity.
"The Tales of Beedle the Bard" is a wizarding classic which first came to Muggle readers' attention in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." One of these tales -- "The Tale of the Three Brothers" -- is recounted in the seventh Harry Potter novel. The remaining four stories are revealed for the very first time in "The Tales of Beedle the Bard." Thanks to Hermione Granger's new translation from the ancient runes, Scholastic proudly presents this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J.K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore.
For images and footage of Arthur Levine and J.K. Rowling reading from "The Tales of Beedle the Bard," visit http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/beedlethebard