Thursday, October 29

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition
Written by J. K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay

My rating: ★★★★★

ISBN: 978-0545790352
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine
Date of publication: October 6, 2015
Age: Grades 4 and up
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: magic & wizardry, schooling, family, friendship, good vs. evil

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.

We all know the story, but here it is for the first time in a jaw-droppingly beautiful, illustrated format. I'm not even kidding, I just love to sit and stroke the pages. Obviously, the original story is a favorite of mine. I grew up on Harry Potter and think J. K. is  a genius. This review is really about the story. It's about Jim Kay. He has managed to created vivid, detailed, spectacular illustrations that are original, but not distracting. Like, on the one hand, they aren't just scenes that look like the movies or Mary Grand Pre's work. But nor, on the other hand, do they take away from the reader's imagination. They're supportive and yet, outstanding in their own right.

I don't really know how else to explain it. I'd include examples, but I have too many favorites to narrow it down at all. Honestly, I'm grateful that such a fine artist has put so much effort into a beloved story. Basically, I love this edition more than the book I have on my shelf. So go and pick up a copy and admire it. Stroke its beautiful pages.

Oh, but I would say, even though it is illustrated, it's still a middle-grade book. I still stand by my opinion that younger kids (say, younger than nine years) really shouldn't read the seriesthe later books, especially, are more for the pre-teen/teen ages. So keep that in mind when sharing it with your kids. Oh, also of note: this American versionyou know, "sorcerer's" instead of "philosopher's"has been put back into British English. Everything except "sorcerer's stone" is back as it J. K. originally wrote it. Which is just brilliant. You just have to remember all your British vocab.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

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