Waiting for October 6 to roll around and bring me my copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition is making me feel like Harry sitting in his room at the Dursleys, counting down the days until he can finally go back to Hogwarts.
Jim Kay and the good people at Scholastic have released just enough illustrations to give us a sense of what the forthcoming book will be like, while whetting our appetites for what’s to come on the sixth. Here are just a few of the many, many thoughts I have on what we’ve seen so far.
How do I love thee, Ron? Let me count the ways: the tousled hair. That slightly clueless look. All those Weasley freckles. Yep, I absolutely adore the way Jim Kay has captured the essence of the sometimes goofy, but always lovable Ron Weasley.
Oh, this takes me back—all the way to Chapter 4, when Harry meets Hagrid for the first time and we see him (for a brief moment) for his rather imposing physical presence, rather than the soft-hearted personality we’ll come to know. And with all of Jim Kay’s marvelous details, I can almost picture Hagrid pulling a cake out of one of his millions of pockets.
Hagrid Giving Dudley a Tail
Since this particular illustration makes up 48% of all the reasons I need to get my hands on this book, I am THRILLED to be seeing it now. (Not, however, as thrilled as I will be to see it accompanied by the words “NEVER — INSULT — ALBUS — DUMBLEDORE — IN — FRONT — OF — ME!”) The little poof! Hagrid’s umbrella wand! Dudley’s slippers! This is a work of true beauty.
I’ll admit, I have the teensiest bit of an unhealthy crush on Draco Malfoy, but in my defense, the dude has dragon-guarded vaults full of serious cash and some not-too-shabby wizarding skills (look, not just anyone could have repaired that vanishing cabinet). And, as we see here, he knows the importance of dressing well.
One Tired Owl
I’m not sure which owl this is—perhaps one belonging to the Weasleys? One of the school’s owls? One of the many bringing Hogwarts letters to Number 4 Privet Drive?—but it sure does look exhausted. (I’ll probably look strikingly similar when I have to go to work on October 7 after staying up all night drinking in the wonders of this book.) From its feathered tail to the tip of its charmingly crooked ear, it’s incredible how much detail Jim Kay puts into even the smallest illustrations.
Oh, how I’ve longed to go to Hogwarts myself! But, muggle that I am, I’ll have to settle for a blown-up printout of this illustration pasted to the front of my house. Really, though, Jim Kay captures all of the magic and mystery of the Hogwarts grounds—trees holding up one end of the castle, random bits of turret growing out at odd angles. I just can’t wait to see how he renders the Forbidden Forest.
This illustration has been out for a while now, but we just can’t stop looking at it. I didn’t think I’d ever love any version of Hermione as much as I loved Emma Watson, but this one is just so perfect! And if you really want to have a bit of fun, try to figure out all the names scribbled on the door behind her.
I didn’t think I could want to go to Hogwarts any more than I already do, and then I saw this illustration of Hagrid’s hut. With all those bright colors, the dragon scarecrow in the garden, and the ship’s hull for a roof, it looks just like I would expect the Hogwarts’ Gamekeeper’s home to look. It just needs its loyal and brave guard-dog Fang, and all will be complete.
This image is simply gorgeous: Hagrid flying across a moonlit sky, infant Harry in arms, headed to meet up with Albus Dumbledore, with the city below lit up in yellow and blue. I hope infant Harry soaked up all the excitement of this moment, because he was in for 10 dull, torturous years with the Dursleys. Now, if Jim Kay could only stop creating genius art long enough to tell me where to get my hands on a flying motorcycle, I could die happy.
And, last but not least, we’re finally getting a glimpse at our hero: Harry Potter himself. (Glasses broken as always, of course.) Just a little more than two weeks until we see this adorable eleven-year-old Harry scrambling across the pages, getting into all sorts of trouble with Hermione and Ron. We’ll be counting down the days! And can I just say, you have your mother’s eyes, Harry.
Are you excited for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: the Illustrated Edition? (Hint: Yes. Yes you are.)