Review: Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter Illustrated #1)
Series: Harry Potter #1
Also in this series: The Cursed Child
Released by Bloomsbury on 6 October 2015
Prepare to be spellbound by Jim Kay's dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters in this full-colour illustrated hardback edition of the nation's favourite children's book – Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Brimming with rich detail and humour that perfectly complements J.K. Rowling's timeless classic, Jim Kay's glorious illustrations will captivate fans and new readers alike.
When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he's the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord's curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers, which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!
I first heard about this new illustrated edition from a friend, who had already pre-ordered it. I was intrigued as well, but I didn’t really want to buy it that much. At the time I had another hardcover set of Harry Potter books that I wanted to buy, so I decided to save my money for that. But then I saw more images from this book, and heard more about it, and I got more interested, because it did look really amazing. Then I saw it on a Dutch webshop with for a nice discounted price, and I went for it. Which was a good idea, because the day after the price had been raised to 30-something euros again!
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, written by J.K. Rowling is a story we all know already, a story that we grew up with. But this time, it’s accompanied by a lot of beautiful images, drawn by Jim Kay. Honestly, those images are what makes this story even better! I loved the story already, but these images are so so so amazing and it makes me love the story even more – something I didn’t even know was possible.
We get illustrations of Harry, Ron, Hermione and other characters in this story, which is a good thing for people – like me – who are not that good at giving characters their own image in their mind. I mean, maybe I did have my own images for each character when I first read the book, but I did that at around the same time the movies came out, so in my mind the characters always looked like Daniel, Rupert and Emma – for example.
This book gives each character different faces, maybe the way J.K. Rowling imagined them herself, or maybe this is just the way Jim Kay imagined them. I know for certain that I love both – the movie characters and the characters as drawn from this book.
Each page also has some tiny details, like ink splatters, and the background looks as if it’s written on parchment. Some images fill an entire page, and sometimes they’re at the bottom of a page or right in the middle of it. I personally like the full-page images the best, because they are just so beautiful and so full of detail. If I had to pick a favourite image, I wouldn’t really know which one to pick, but I like the one of Draco Malfoy at Madame Malkin’s, and the one of the Hogwarts Express very much!
If you love Harry Potter (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), and if you love collection multiple copies of each book, you should definitely start collecting these amazing illustrated editions. I know I will! (And yes, I am still going to buy those hardcover books that I had my eye on months ago, soon!)
My opinion in one gif: