Celebrated novelist J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books will all be released as illustrated versions, starting in 2015 with Harry Potter and the SorcereCelebrated novelist J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books will all be released as illustrated versions, starting in 2015 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Jim Kay created the vivid watercolor illustrations for these re-releases of the novels. The pages of the book are thick and large, about ten by nine inches, to accommodate Kay’s many detailed, original images throughout the book.
Rowling’s novel follows Harry Potter and showcases the adventures he has with his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, among others at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. Harry Potter, who at the beginning of the novel thinks himself an ordinary boy who can occasionally make strange things happen, lives with his aunt and uncle and cousin, where he resides in a cupboard under their stairs. The moment he turns eleven, he gets a mysterious letter and finds out he isn’t quite so ordinary—not entirely because he lives in a cupboard, but because he can do magic, like his parents before him. With help, Harry heads off to a new world of sorcery and magic and learning, where everyone already knows his name.
At first very unfamiliar with his new world, Harry makes friends and enemies and gets up to an awful lot of mischief, studying, and quidditch, the magical sport played on broomsticks. With the help of those around him, he learns how to be a part of his new world. The novel finds Harry, Ron, and Hermione walking headfirst into a dangerous plot, and readers find out just how important it was that Harry got his letter to Hogwarts.
Harry Potter’s first story really centers on a universal theme of finding yourself in a new, unfamiliar place, and becoming comfortable in it. Every time we start something new, we don’t know how that experience will go. Harry was unfamiliar with his whole new magical world near the beginning of The Sorcerer’s Stone, just like readers often are during various parts of their lives. The story can resonate with juveniles for precisely that reason; they’re new to their own worlds of school and higher learning and compounding responsibility. Harry’s story is written for kids and with them in mind, but older readers can cite the inherent themes as reasons to keep reading the novels.
Like the original Harry Potter novels, the illustrated editions are aimed at juveniles, though they are certainly interesting, detailed, and complex enough for those aged above the juvenile range. While Mary GrandPré created the lovely cover and chapter illustrations for the original novels, Jim Kay was hired for the watercolor releases. His full page and double-page spread illustrations are often the most eye-catching in the book, though small, bright paintings are also often inserted into the text. It’s fun to see so many of Harry’s escapades as watercolors. Kay’s painting for the cover of this edition encapsulates one of Harry Potter’s most iconic moments of his first year: getting on the Hogwarts Express at platform nine and three-quarters.
Rowling weaves her stories to envelop her readers, and Kay’s beautifully detailed illustrations elevate the aesthetics of Rowling’s brilliant novel....more