Series: Harry Potter #1
Edition: Hardcover, 246 Pages
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
The beloved first book of the Harry Potter series, now fully illustrated by award-winning artist Jim Kay.
For the first time, J. K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter books will be presented in lavishly illustrated full-color editions. Rowling herself selected artist Jim Kay, whose over one hundred illustrations make this deluxe format as perfect a gift for the child being introduced to the series as for the dedicated fan.
Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.
All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley–a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry–and anyone who reads about him—will find unforgettable.
By this point everyone knows I love Harry Potter, so this review is less about the actual story (which is awesome) and more about the experience of the new Illustrated edition.
I first encountered Harry Potter at the age of 8, in fourth grade. A full year after it had first released, so after my teacher finished reading the first one to us in class I pressured my dad into buying both the first one and second one for me. It’s been 17 years (with the US release date, not UK) since that wonderful year, and this story has aged beautifully. Instead of growing tired of the same story, I only love it more with each reading and I love finding new ways to enjoy it like buying foreign editions or reading them with friends. So of course I used my birthday money to buy this (in July) and then proceeded to freak out until it finally released in October. It was so worth the wait!
I barely got a chapter in before I realized that THIS is the way Harry Potter should be read. Not only did the larger book format make the story easier to gobble up, the pictures only fueled my need and desire to keep flipping the pages because I so desperately wanted to know what the next one would look like. The illustrations themselves are gorgeous and I think that Kay really knocked it out of the park with his interpretations and art style. I spent a ton of time simply staring at each one looking for all the small details that he skillfully added in and even letting others look at them to see if they spotted anything I didn’t. The one image I had issue with, and yes there was only one, was the image that of Snape. I just didn’t get the potions room…it looked less like a dark, dank, apothecary and more like a chamber of horrors. I think my favorite character portrayals are Hagrid, Hermione, Dumbledore, and McGonagall.
(The images above are those shown in the pre-release media)
To top it off, they have plans to release the entire series like this and I really hope with everything I have that they do. It’s so amazing to have something new to look forward to again. This Harry Potter nerd is completely in love and utterly satisfied.