Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Illustrated Edition
by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay
Rating: 5+ Stars
‘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!’
This is a stunning edition. Utterly stunning. Kay’s re-imagined the characters and settings that we all know so well in dazzling technicolour. The Harry here looks a lot more like the Harry that I had in my head before the movies, as does Ron. I’m not quite sure about Kay’s Hermione yet, this is going to be an odd thing to say, but she looks a bit too jolly? I always thought of Hermione as such a serious and tense child and, despite being a lovely depiction, she doesn’t quite fit in with the Hermione in my head.
It’s been quite a long time since I re-read the first book in the series and it was a little like reading it for the first time. It did me good to remember that there was more to the plot than we see in the film. Rowling is a true master, she reels you in with humour and heart. There is a reason these books sold so many copies. I think it had a lot to do with the fact she doesn’t shy away from darkness, but still fills her books with hope.
To quote the very wise G.K. Chesterton:
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”