Book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling, Jim Kay (Illustrator)
Description: First book in the seven book Harry Potter series being re-released fully illustrated
Publishing Information: Released October 6, 2015 by Scholastic, Inc.
First Sentence: Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.
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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.
The beloved first book of the Harry Potter series, now lavishly illustrated by award-winning artist Jim Kay.
This is around the sixth or seventh time that I’ve read the Harry Potter series. Let me tell you right now, I don’t read books six or seven times (and I certainly don’t purchase giant illustrated editions of them) if they are 5/5 star books. Of course, Harry Potter isn’t a 5/5 star book. I’d say it’s closer to 500/5.
Because of that, this isn’t going to be one of my normal reviews where I talk about pros and cons and character development. I highly recommend the story of Harry Potter, but what I’m reviewing now is this particular edition of Harry Potter.
Words cannot describe how excited I was when I first heard that they were making illustrated editions of these beloved books. I pre-ordered it a good month before the release date and read it almost immediately it arrived (almost a week late – thanks Amazon).
I was not disappointed at all, and I would highly recommend it. However, I understand that it is a pretty expensive book ($39.99 list price), so here are all the things I think you should know before you make your decision on whether or not to buy it:
- The entire story is in here: Nothing was cut out of the original story or substituted for a picture that illustrated the same basic idea. Word for word, this is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
- The book is incredibly well-made: Every page is glossy and thick. It’s a solid hardback and the spine didn’t crease or fold even when I had this gigantic book flopped open on my lap. It comes with one of those cute little built-in ribbon bookmarks and (despite what it looks like on the picture of the cover) the lettering of the title and spine are not that ugly mustard color. The letters are actually gold, shiny, and raised.
- Some of the punctuation is a little weird: I was surprised to see when I first opened the book that some of the punctuation was changed from the original Harry Potter books I was used to. What I mean by this is that instead of having a sentence like, “Wow,” Harry exclaimed it says, ‘Wow,’ Harry exclaimed. It also doesn’t use periods after words like mister (i.e. Mr instead of Mr. and Mrs instead of Mrs.). It’s not the biggest deal in the world and I didn’t find it too distracting but if that’s something you have an issue with, be aware.
- The text is in columns: Like in a newspaper, the text in this book is in columns instead of just straight across the page, left to right (I mean, you still read it left to right, but in separate column chunks). It was still incredibly easy to follow and I had no issue with it, but if newspaper columns bring back horrible memories of you getting a third degree paper cut while reading the “Ask Amanda”, be aware.
- The illustrations are stunning: I was tempted to completely litter this review with pictures of my favorite pages, but I honestly feel like I would end up showing you the entire book and ruining the fun of seeing the pictures for the first time in the book. The ones above are just a tiny sample of the incredible artwork within these pages. I could honestly change my Instagram feed solely to pictures of this book and it would look amazing (although my poor photography skills probably wouldn’t do it all the justice it deserves)
- There aren’t illustrations on every single page: Sometimes there are pictures that take up two whole, side-by-side pages, and sometimes there are two side-by-side pages with no illustrations at all, leaving you with just the columns of text. These pages are still wonderful (how could they not be, they’re covered in words from The Sorcerer’s Stone) and have a cool background that makes them seem as if they could’ve been written on parchment paper.
- This book isn’t life-changing: If you hated Harry Potter on your first go-around, this version most likely isn’t going to change your opinion. (But how did you hate Harry Potter on your first go-around?!)
- This book is a really fun new way to experience Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The illustrations aren’t just cartoon versions of the same scenes and faces you see in the movies or the original, little illustrations in the books. By picking this book up, you’re getting a fresh new experience and perspective.
If you couldn’t tell already, I completely adored this book. My rating isn’t just for the story that I already knew that I loved, but it’s also for the incredible illustrations. I would 100% recommend picking this up, it blew me away.
Obviously, though, since it’s a pretty expensive book, I hope I answered any questions you might’ve had about it. If you have any more, feel free to ask in the comments. At the very least, I would highly recommend checking it out from the library… although since you’ll probably have to buy a new copy for the library after you drool all over their pages, you might as well just buy one. 😉
(P.S.: Did you know I have a giveaway going on?)