Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Illustrated Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling and Jim Kay

The Illustrated Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban written by JK Rowling and illustrated by Jim Kay is the third illustrated Harry Potter edition to be released yearly by Bloomsbury. I reviewed the illustrated Philosopher's Stone, but didn't write a proper review of Chamber of SecretsThis review will contain spoilers, because if you haven't read Harry Potter in the last twenty years you probably don't care (and probably aren't reading this review).

An extraordinary creative achievement by an extraordinary talent, Jim Kay’s inspired reimagining of J.K. Rowling’s classic series has captured a devoted following worldwide. This stunning new fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban brings more breathtaking scenes and unforgettable characters – including Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Professor Trelawney. With paint, pencil and pixels, Kay conjures the wizarding world as we have never seen it before. Fizzing with magic and brimming with humour, this full-colour edition will captivate fans and new readers alike as Harry, now in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, faces Dementors, death omens and – of course – danger.

I really enjoyed the illustrations (and story, of course) in this book. I wasn't as into the illustrated Chamber of Secrets because I felt like there were too many boring blank pages. This was not a problem in Prisoner of Azkaban which had a lot more minor illustrations between the bigger full- and half-page ones. For example, each chapter has a themed background that was used on the otherwise blank pages — things like forest or tablecloth or wallpaper. Nothing to distract from the text, but adding a bit more interest. There were also several illustrations that covered the bottom third of a double page spread, which were nice. And the pages on which each chapter started were illustrated in detail, with something emblematic of the events within the chapter. I really liked the detail.

Probably the most frequently illustrated character was Scabbers, who appeared several times by himself as well as part of other illustrations. Crookshanks and Sirius/the "Grim" came up a few times too. But I think my favourite illustration in the whole book was a very detailed background illustration of a Quidditch match.

I enjoyed revisiting the story of Harry Potter and experiencing the world with the new illustrations. I highly recommend the illustrated editions to fans of Harry Potter, especially those looking for a reason to reread a Harry Potter book a year. I look forward to Goblet of Fire, although I do worry about how thick and heavy it will be since Prisoner of Azkaban is already significantly heaver than Philosopher's Stone.

5 / 5 stars

First published: 1999 Bloomsbury, but 2017 for the illustrated edition
Series:b Harry Potter book 3 of 7
Format read: Hardcover
Source: Amazon, to my shame.

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