Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (The Illustrated Edition) - J.K. Rowling, Illus. by Jim Kay

Summary:  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.  (Summary from book flap)

My Review:  If you know me at all, you know I'm a huge Harry Potter fan.  As in, I went to Universal Studios Orlando without my kids so that I could experience it myself.  Yup.  I'm that girl.

I've read the series countless times to my husband and two older children and have two more little kids that I am excited to introduce to Hogwarts.  If you'd like to know my full thoughts on the story, my review of the picture-less version is here.  Ordinarily, I read the first book to them, and then they have to read it themselves and take the AR test before they get to watch the movie and we move on to the next one.  That's how we roll and it works for us. 

However, we ran into a little snag when my third daughter started trying to read chapter books in the 1st grade.  We noticed she would come home from school with a headache almost daily, would squint when reading, and complain about blurry vision and losing her place.  Our first stop was the optometrist, but her prescription was negligible.  It took some time and a myriad of appointments and opinions, but we finally discovered she has some vision issues (with fancypants names) that will require weekly vision therapy.


We have high hopes for the therapy, but realistically, it might be a while before she can read Harry Potter on her own.  I decided to cheer us both up by announcing that, unlike her sisters, I would read the Harry Potter series to her until she is able to take it on herself, without all the AR hoops, etc.

To ease the transition, I decided to pick up the illustrated edition of the first book in the series because I figured it would help enhance her vision and grasp of the story.  Jim Kay's illustrations are fantastic -- magical and whimsical in all the right places.  He brought the cupboard under the stairs, Hagrid's Hut, and Hogwarts Castle (and so many other places) to splendid life...even the owls have attitude!  I especially loved his detailed illustrations of Diagon Alley, the creepiness of Snape's classroom, and the page on trolls torn out of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them.  Kay's vision of the characters is spot on and I loved that the characters didn't exactly resemble their cinematic counterparts, allowing my little girl to put her own mental spin on them.

In short, when I didn't think Harry Potter could get any better, J.K. Rowling met Jim Kay.  And it did.  I recommend this book to anyone who has (or hasn't) read Harry Potter yet.  It's a must have, must read for your collection.

My Review:  5 Stars

For the sensitive reader: Light-handed witchcraft and wizardry.






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