Reliving The Magic

Reliving The Magic
HarryPotter 2

Courtesy Photo

To those who know me, it’s no secret that I am a massive Harry Potter fan. Aside from adorning my walls in Marauder’s Map throws and my car in Ravenclaw crests (because obviously I’ve been sorted. Proper sorted too, not any random online quiz sorting), I’ve literally scarred my body with my love for J.K. Rowling’s amazing universe.

Now I get to relive all that magic again.

Last year, in conjunction with some sort of anniversary (we celebrate a lot of things, from the anniversary of the Battle Of Hogwarts, to Harry, Ron and Hermione’s birthdays, to random birthdays Jo keeps deciding to give us, so there really is no way to google… er…. tell) it was announced that all seven of the Harry Potter novels would be re-released in completely (and amazingly) illustrated versions. Jim Kay, not one known for his work on children’s book, feared the worst, saying he thought he’d for sure mess up the most popular book series in history if he undertook this feat. However, over the course of two years, working seven days a week, Jim Kay created – and there really isn’t a better word for it – pure magic.

Harry’s world comes alive from the start, with lush full color splashed pages of gorgeous ink and brush strokes, in ways never before seen. Though the version seen in my mind’s eye will never be replaced, this new edition, still called The Sorcerer’s Stone on American shores, is a gorgeous work of art not to be missed by a single soul, and it presents to me a much more exciting chance for Potterheads of old to share the joys of dressing up to await the latest release at midnight for an entirely new generation.

I really believe that even the kids that are hard to sway on reading will be easily tricked into devouring these new editions because they seem like storybooks. Massive storybooks, but much more in the vein of Maurice Sendak than Herman Melville (lest we forget, J.K. is the magician who got millions of children around the world reading a book that was thicker than Moby Dick). Sorcerer’s Stone clocks in at a weighty 245 pages, which is actually not that much more or less than the old ones. Still, I wonder what we’ll get in five year’s time when it’s Order Of The Phoenix’s 840 page tome that’s being illustrated by hand.

I cannot undersell what a necessity this book is to any Potterhead’s collection, and really anyone who enjoys reading in general. The illustrations are beautiful and they work wonderfully alongside the words I have read at least once a year since 1997.

Though it’s not Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling’s new Potterverse play that’s considered canonical with the series, it is well worth the purchase, even if it does come at a pricey $39.99. This comes right before the release of the third book in the Cormoran Strike series, written under J.K. Rowling’s pen-name of Robert Galbraith and due out later this month, so October is sure to be a good time for any Rowling fan.

Seven books over the next seven years are planned, each one in the works by the artist as I type these words. It really feels like living the magic of the first time all over again, but this time I’m not 11 and can get in on the ground floor of the wonderment. To Joanne Rowling, thank you so much for giving us the chance to explore your wonderful world again. You have no idea what it means to so many people all over the world. We’re literally connected by magic, and there’s something kind of innately wonderful about that.

Categories: Commentary