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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1) Hardcover – October 6, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Whether they're committed Potterheads who grew up reading the world-changing fantasy series or children just old enough to enjoy the stories for the very first time, readers will want to pore over this stunning illustrated edition, which features the full and unabridged text (with the exception of the title, the text is from the original British edition). From the dark and stormy endpapers to the ink-sploshed pages to Kay's expressive pencil and watercolor illustrations adorning almost every page, the story of Harry's humble beginnings with the wretched Dursleys, the arrival of his letter from Hogwarts, and his first adventures as "the boy who lived" come to brilliant life in this beautiful—and beautifully designed—edition. Though the size and heft might make library circulation somewhat challenging, this is a fantastic gift.—Kiera Parrott, School Library Journal
"A wonderful first novel. Much like Roald Dahl, J. K. Rowling has a gift for keeping the emotions, fears, and triumphs of her characters on a human scale, even while the supernatural is popping out all over. The book is full of wonderful, sly humor [and] the characters are impressively three-dimensional (occasionally, four-dimensional!) and move along seamlessly through the narrative. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is as funny, moving and impressive as the story behind its writing. Like Harry Potter, [J. K. Rowling] has wizardry inside, and has soared beyond her modest Muggle surroundings to achieve something quite special." -- The New York Times Book Review
"A charming, imaginative, magical confection of a novel. . . . A glorious debut, a book of wonderful comic pleasures and dizzying imaginative flights. There is no cause to doubt Rowling's abilities and promise, and every reason to expect great things, truly great things, from her in the future." -- The Boston Sunday Globe
"You don't have to be a wizard or a kid to appreciate the spell cast by Harry Potter." -- USA Today
"The story delights and the writing gives you goosebumps, the good kind." -- Chicago Tribune
*"Readers are in for a delightful romp with this award-winning debut from a British author who dances in the footsteps of P. L. Travers and Roald Dahl. Rowling leaves the door wide open for a sequel; bedazzled readers will surely clamor for one." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review
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The quality of this new illustrated edition is phenomenal. I've been excited about the release of this book since it was announced, but I never expected the book as a whole to be so well crafted.
A couple of things to note:
1. Underneath the book jacket, the novel is bound in a sturdy red hardback with gold lettering on the spine.
2. The paper is thick with an eggshell glossy finish.
3. All chapter intros are illustrated.
4. Some images take up full pages or multiple pages. Most illustrations share the page with text.
5. Every inch of the book is illustrated or decorated in some fashion. There are NO white pages in the book. Even the pages without large illustrations have the paper printed and marked with ink blots or paper "stains".
I would highly recommend this for anyone looking to read the series (again, or for the first time), especially if you plan to read this with someone younger. If this book is a demonstration of what is to come with the illustrated editions for the rest of the series, we're all in for six more impeccable treats.
First, Amazon's packaging was utterly and despicably inadequate. (See Photo) My book was shipped in a box, with *no packing material* of any kind. At first glance, it seemed OK. But when I took a close look at my dust jacket, I was extremely upset to find that the gold foil lettering for "Harry Potter" had been rubbed away and destroyed completely in some places leaving ugly, black matte in its place-- pock marking the otherwise handsome gold lettering. Also, the matte-finish of the dust jacket had been rubbed so badly due to the bad packaging that it left scars and shiny markings where the matte finish was worn off. For an obvious gift/collectors item, this is absolutely unacceptable. I called Amazon and they didn't seem to "get" what my fuss was all about and just offered to ship a replacement which, undoubtedly, will be shipped in exactly the same way.
Second, after I got over my initial outrage over the shipping/packaging. I sat down to enjoy the actual book itself, which as I said is absolutely extraordinary! I was extremely cautious handling the book and binding, being unsure how tolerant the binding is of weight. I carefully opened both the right and left sides of the binding and supported the weight of the opened cover using a small pillow. By the time I reached the back 3/4th of the book (on Professor McGonagall's full page illustration) the binding separated from the spine the very first time I turned the page. In other words, the binding fell apart during my very first pass through the book. (See Photo). Another thing that really drove me crazy was the way that the stitched in book mark was carelessly folded into the book. It left dents all over my pages (See Photo), which of course had to be on a full page illustration of Hagrid!
Needless to say I'm in awe how Bloomsbury has managed to put together such an incredible project, with JK Rowling's remarkable literature and Jim Kay's otherworldly illustrations-- and allowed it to be put together in a low quality binding! I noticed that all of the previous Harry Potter books were printed and bound in USA (some in Mexico) but this book was printed and bound in China. I would like to hope that they would quality check a thing like this, but perhaps not. Either way, I am extremely disappointed in the quality/binding of my book. I would be interested to know if others are seeing the same thing. And please, Amazon, pack these books in bubble wrap and packing material! Not all alone in a box...
Update (October 9th): I have finally received my new book and it was in much, much better condition. The cover and spine were tight, intact and falling apart from the binding like my original copy. Addtl photos to follow...
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