By Greg Lorraine
JK Rowling will delight hundreds of children today with a special reading hosted by The National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh.
The Beedle tea-party, being held at Parliament Hall, marks the official launch of The Tales of Beedle The Bard, the first new book from the author since Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.
The launch will be attended by children aged 8-11 years old from primary schools in the Edinburgh area, who were specially selected as part of a competition run by the National Library of Scotland and the Evening News.
Julian Stone, Marketing Officer for the National Library of Scotland, said: “We have a great relationship with JK Rowling. She’s very supportive of the role that we and other libraries play, so it’s fantastic that we have the opportunity to showcase this unique and beautiful book. There will be around 200 children coming to the event today. Naturally, they’re all very excited about it.”
Barry Cunningham, Rowling’s first editor, is lending his own copy of the book to the Library which will be going on show for a month. It is one of only seven original copies JK Rowling handwrote and hand-illustrated herself.
Julian Stone said: “We’ve already had quite a number of people asking about the book. It goes on display from tomorrow until the 4th January, so we’re expecting lots of interest over the next month.”
The Tales of Beedle the Bard was originally a volume of fairytales given to Hermione Granger by Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore in the final Harry Potter book.
It is hoped sales of the book will raise millions for the Children’s High Level Group, a charity Rowling co-founded with Emma Nicholson MEP. The charity helps vulnerable children across Eastern Europe.