This is going to be a different sort of book review, because I won’t actually be reviewing the story. We all know I love Harry Potter, and I’m sure many of you do, as well. It’s one of the best-selling books of all time. So I think it would be a little strange to review it. Instead, I will be sharing my thoughts on the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling and Jim Kay.
First, let me say that I loved this book! It’s been a while since I’ve read Harry Potter, and the illustrations definitely enhanced the experience – I really enjoyed how they were incorporated into every page, even if it was just a bit of watercolor in the background. When I was in junior high and high school, I remember how exciting it was to anticipate new Harry Potter books and movies every year, so I really love that we’re getting to experience that again with the illustrated editions (and the Fantastic Beasts movie!).
That said, there were a few things I noticed about this book that were maybe not ideal. I’ve noticed that, as I study literature and publishing, I’ve become more critical of books, so these are probably not things everyone would notice. But I do want to mention them. First of all, there is a typo on page 15. Just an extra space between the w and the a in the word want, but its definitely there. I know typos happen, and normally, they don’t bug me (I just get really excited when I find them, because I’m a huge nerd). But this one did. And it’s because this is such a special book, I think they should have maybe taken a bit more time with making sure it was perfect before printing it. Which brings me to my second – I don’t want to say issue or problem, because it’s not really – observation: in my American edition of the book, they forgot to change all of the British-isms, other than philosopher’s to sorcerer’s. Color is spelled colour, and instead of studying for exams, Harry, Ron, and Hermione do their revisions (just a few examples). I’ve actually read this book so many times that I could just feel when the words were off – I actually compared the text to my other copy to make sure, and a few times to be sure I got the meaning right (i.e. the word lookout in the British version is problem in the American one, which made way more sense to me in the context in which it was used). Not a big deal, but again: come on, Scholastic. I was really disappointed with their attention to detail in this book, especially because the illustrations and layout are so fantastic.
And now that I’ve gotten my rant out of the way, I must say, the illustrations are gorgeous! They are a combination of sketches and watercolor that suits the book so perfectly. I thought the portrayals of the characters, particularly Harry and Ron, were perfect. And while there were a few illustrations I’d been hoping to see and didn’t get, and a few places I thought didn’t really need them, overall, the art in this book is incredible!
If you’re into Harry Potter, I would highly recommend this edition! It’s truly beautiful, and I think these editions would make a wonderful way to introduce a new generation to this series. I know a lot of you have probably already picked this up (or are hoping to get it for the holidays – it would make an excellent gift!), so let me know what you think of it in the comments! Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of them.