Review Blog

Sep 27 2018

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

cover image

Ill. by Jim Kay. Harry Potter, book 1. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781526602381.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Themes: Fantasy. Orphans. Wizards. Magic. Good and evil. Harry Potter needs no introduction: the enormous popularity of all the books as well as the films, has made him into a household name. This is the first book in the series, introducing Harry, the lonely orphan who has been forced to live in a cupboard under the stairs by his unsympathetic aunt and uncle and tells the story of his time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
People revisiting the Harry Potter books will be entranced with the beautiful illustrations by Jim Kay, the talented Kate Greenaway Medal winner, in this paperback edition (the hardback version came out in 2015). He has kept the familiar image that everyone has of Harry Potter from the films, complete with glasses and dark hair, but added much to his expressions and gestures. Pictures dot the pages, some on a full page, set in dark tones, as Harry and his friends fight the evil at Hogwarts. More colourful, smaller drawings complement the narrative and give the reader a picture of what is going on in the text. J.K. Rowling has said: "Seeing Jim Kay's illustrations moved me profoundly. I love his interpretation of Harry Potter's world, and I feel honoured and grateful that he has lent his talent to it".
This illustrated edition in paperback is beautifully presented and could become a collector's delight. As well as a book to be treasured by older readers, I can see it being used as a read aloud, introducing Harry Potter to the 7-8 year olds, who will be entranced with both the story and the illustrations. Bloomsbury has a page with information about J.K. Rowling, games, discussion guides and a Harry Potter night.
Pat Pledger

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