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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone illustrated by Jim Kay, was discovered on one of my many adventures to the bookstore.  I stumbled across it by accident because I turned down the wrong aisle, and it is now my new favorite book!  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone “coffee table” version with giant color illustrations?  What on earth?  I could not resist finding the nearest chair and sitting down to start looking through this thing of beauty.  Oh my…  In the first 30 seconds, I knew I had to have a copy of this book.

I consider myself a pretty avid Harry Potter fan, but I began to question myself wondering “Why am I just now seeing this book?”  What was keeping me so busy that I missed this?  I have all the Harry Potter books (read a few of them twice), and I’ve seen each of the movies at least 2-3 times.  I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan.  Oh yeah…I have 2 kids!

What is the illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone?

Apparently, back in January of 2015, Scholastic made a wonderful announcement…  It went something like this:  “Harry Potter” fans, rejoice! The popular series is hitting bookshelves again — this time in illustrated form.  Scholastic announced Tuesday plans to publish illustrated editions of the bestselling book series, starting with the Oct. 6 release of the first installment, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Scholastic whetted appetites by releasing 4 of the illustrations from the first novel, including Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Draco Malfoy and Hagrid.  The challenge of taking author J.K. Rowling’s fantasy world and illustrating it was tasked to British illustrator, Jim Kay.  And the good news is that over the next 7 years, Jim Kay will illustrate the rest of the Harry Potter series as well!  Guess who’s going to have the best coffee table books ever?  You guessed it…me!!!

Who is Jim Kay?

Jim Kay is a very talented and interesting artist.  I had to learn more about him and his wonderful illustrations, so I began looking around and found a very interesting interview with him on the Pottermore Website.  In one article, Jim mentions that he likes to include bits and pieces of his own life in all of his illustrations.  Same went for the illustrations for Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone.  One example he gave was the illustration of Dumbledore.

Jim said ‘Dumbledore is based on a friend who lives on the other side of the world,’ he says. ‘He was extremely kind. He’d seen my original sketches and posed in the same positions as those and sent me these wonderful photographs. Then I would wear this sort-of purple, reflective outfit and sit in front of a mirror to get the lighting and shade right.’  Amazing, right?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Illustrated Edition by Jim Kay

I mean look at that illustration of Dumbledore! Amazing, right? I am so excited about this book – I think I will be re-reading all of the stories again as they come out.

I found it fascinating to read all about Jim Kay.  What an interesting man.  You can read even more about him on the Pottermore Website, and the article titled The Magic of Jim Kay’s Art is in its Mischievous Detail.  This particular article goes into great detail about some of the artwork that he had on display at  The Illustrating Harry Potter Exhibition.  It was open from November 2015 – April 2016.  Darn!  I just missed it.  Probably couldn’t have gone anyway, since it was in the Gillian Dickinson Gallery on Lime Street in Newcastle Upon Tyne!  Sure would’ve been fun though….

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Illustrated by Jim Kay

Just look at poor Harry! And those creepy spiders…

You can also find out a lot more about Jim Kay on his website.  Just click on his name.  You can see a gallery of his work, as well as get a sneak peek into what’s going on in his world by reading his blog.  I was fascinated with his artwork gallery.  He has some very amazing illustrations!  There is also a Harry Potter section with some wonderful illustrations from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with an explanation of each picture and some insight as to how he came up with the ideas for each illustration.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Illustrated by Jim Kay

Look at Hagrid! Sort of haunting, right? Amazing detail in all of the illustrations!

So…in my post a while back called Searching for Harry Potter, I spent quite a bit of time complaining that I have been searching for the next Harry Potter series for sometime – with no success.

If you don’t remember, here is a snippet from it: Ever since I read all of the books in the Harry Potter Series series, I have been searching for a series (or trilogy) that captures my attention like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (and all the other books) did!

I began reading the Harry Potter books back when I was teaching – my students talked endlessly about it, so I thought I’d give it a try.  I was instantly hooked!  For those of you who have been living under a rock for the last decade or so, Harry Potter is a series with seven novels written by J.K. Rowling.

They chronicle the life of Harry Potter, a young wizard, along with his best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley while they attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! The first novel was released way back in 1997 when I was just a young-un!

And you might recall that I mentioned finding some good series that were a close 2nd to Harry Potter such as The Hunger Games Trilogy, The Divergent Series, and The Maze Runner Series.  Loved all of these books, but they weren’t Harry Potter.  But the good news is that the new Harry Potter book is here!  Yes…Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is here.  I know it’s only one book, but when you combine this book with the 7 expected illustrated editions of the original Harry Potter books, I might just be okay!  It is on the top of my stack of books to read.

And here’s the good news…  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets “coffee table” version illustrated by Jim Kay is already on Amazon for pre-order.  It has a release date of October 4, 2016!  And yes…I have already pre-ordered mine!

So there you have it…  If you have felt the “Harry Potter void” like I have for the last several years, you are in good shape now!  You can read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child while you’re waiting on your copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Illustrated by Jim Kay to arrive in your mailbox!  By the time you finish with those two, the next installment of the illustrated Harry Potter books will be ready for release.  You’re welcome!  Until next time…