So I was going to so a full on review for this book, but then I realised that I already have right here. Word-wise this book is no different from the original Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. From the ‘Yer a Wizard Harry’ to the game of life size wizards chess!
But then when you look at the rest of the book (not including the words) there is of course one giant difference … it’s illustrated! (and beautifully done too!)
I was trying to think back to the last illustrated book I read and I honesty can’t remember what it was. I’m going to take a guess that I was probably around age 8, and I was totally obsessed with Percy the Park Keeper at the time. Now, no offence to Nick Butterworth, but he’s got nothing on Jim Kay’s beautiful illustrations in this book.
The entire book really is a work of art (so much that I always wash my hands before picking it up! I’m a nerd like that!) and I would love to have every single illustration within it in a frame on my wall at home. Some of my absolute favourite images include Platform 9 3/4, Hogwarts and the Mirror of Erised. There is also a totally creepy image of Voldemort’s eye peeking out from the back of Quirrell’s head as he unwraps his turban.
And that’s just the full page/double page spread images. There are also tons of mini illustrations within the written pages that the story is told on. They make such great additions to the pages and it’s really cute to have owls etc flying through the pages.
So does it add anything to the story? Hells yes! Sure, I’ll admit that the way that Jim Kay has illustrated Harry & Hogwarts is not exactly how I imagined it, but it most definitely didn’t ruin the story for me.
Instead it adds extra layers of magic to an already magical book and gives us fans another beautiful book to add to our collections.
If you haven’t already, I would definitely recommend you getting yourself a copy of this book, and whilst you are at it, pre-order yourself a copy of the illustrated version of HP & the Chamber of Secrets too!