Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Story Snug

The illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling & Jim Kay

How old were your children when they read Harry Potter for the first time? I read all the Harry Potter books as they came out but we weren’t sure when would be a good time to start reading them with our daughter. We started reading the new illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on the understanding that if it became too scary we would stop. We didn’t stop as our daughter loved the story and we read it out loud to her in less than a week!

The Story: After ten years of living with his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia, Harry Potter discovers that he is a wizard whose parents were killed by evil Lord Voldemort and that the scar on his forehead is a reminder that he survived the attack. Harry becomes a pupil at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where he makes friends with new students, Ron, Hermione and Neville. During the course of the year Harry discovers more about the wizarding world, learns how to cast spells and becomes a member of the Quidditch team. When Harry discovers that a three headed dog is guarding The Philosopher’s Stone somewhere in the school he is determined to stop one of his teachers discovering it but his mission to keep the package safe leads to a confrontation with Lord Voldemort…

Many of you will be familiar with the Harry Potter stories, boarding school stories with a huge dollop of magic. Harry, Ron and Hermione’s first year is full of adventure. There is fierce rivalry between the four school houses, Ravenclaw, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Harry’s house Gryffindor, especially on the Quidditch pitch, and Harry also has to contend with his enemy Draco Malfoy, a classmate who is determined to get Harry into as much trouble as he can. However, Harry has good relationships with most of his teachers including headteacher Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and Hagrid the gamekeeper although he doesn’t trust Professor Snape (who turns out to be not all he seems!).

The illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is beautiful and adds to the magic of the story. Jim Kay has made the story more accessible to younger children with his amazing illustrations and it’s impossible to choose our favourites although many of them include Hagrid – in a rowing boat with Harry, flying across the sky on his motorcycle and we love the picture of his little hut with the pumpkins in the vegetable garden. The ghosts aren’t particularly scary looking, the troll reminded us of Fungus the Bogeyman and the three headed dog looks quite cuddly! Even Voldemort has been drawn in a way that masks his pure evil, all we see of him is a red eye. Full page portraits of many of the characters are interspersed throughout the book. One of my daughter’s favourites shows Harry wearing The Sorting Hat, it’s an ancient looking patchwork hat with the stitching coming undone in places!

This illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is a fantastic version to introduce younger children to the Harry Potter stories. The illustrations help to explain the story and despite many being dark and atmospheric they added to my daughter’s enjoyment and understanding of J. K. Rowling’s original text.

Age Range: 8 upwards (although your opinions may differ!)

Author: J.K.Rowling / Illustrator: Jim Kay

We’ll be waiting a while before we read the second Harry Potter story with our daughter but we’ll definitely be looking for the illustrated version.

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18 responses to “The illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling & Jim Kay”

  1. Laura Beresford avatar

    I am currently debating whether to read Harry Potter to the children or wait until they can read it for themselves. Matthew is almost 7 and has started reading for pleasure so is ready to read it. This is a fab website and I’m going to look through for more books for boys #MMBC

    1. Catherine avatar

      Thanks Laura, I debated about Harry Potter too but we started reading on the proviso that if it got too scary we would stop. But it didn’t! Not sure when we’ll read the second one but we’ll go slowly as some of the later books are quite dark.

  2. Marina Ilieva avatar

    The Harry Potter’s stories would look far more magical being illustrated, wouldn’t they? I think this could be a good idea for younger readers. I am not interested in Harry Potter at all, but who knows, my 4-year-old son might find it gripping one day. 🙂 xx #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      Maybe he will, maybe he won’t! I had no idea how my daughter would react when I started reading this story.

  3. Acorn Books avatar

    Wow this sounds amazing! I keep thinking my eldest (nearly 4) is far too young for Harry Potter but maybe this is the way to go. Thanks for sharing 🙂 #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      I think that this is a case of knowing your child, some children can cope with the scarier side of the stories when they are younger than others can.

  4. suz avatar

    The illustrated edition sounds beautiful. I never got into Harry Potter and my grandchildren are a bit young yet but this will make a great present when they’re older.

    1. Catherine avatar

      I’ve heard several people say that they didn’t get excited by Harry Potter. Maybe you will find it different reading the stories with your grandchildren.

  5. Kate Eccles avatar

    I can’t wait to be able to share these stories with my little ones. Hubby and I are big fans! #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      I know people who have introduced their children to the stories at an earlier age, I guess that it depends on the child’s personality.

  6. Yet Another Blogging Mummy!!! avatar

    My boys love Harry Potter. They started reading them when son1 was 9. And son2 joined in a few weeks alter. He would have only just turned 7. And he has already read the new book in just over a day #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      I have just received my copy of The Cursed Child. Have your sons read all the Harry Potter stories?

      1. Yet Another Blogging Mummy!!! avatar

        Son1 hasn’t read The Cursed Child yet, as he is part way through something entirely different, but they both read all the others in succession over a few months. And they followed up by then watching all the films this year. They are both so immersed in the Harry Potter world that they think they will get the letters inviting them to go there for secondary school!

        1. Catherine avatar

          Wow! I’m not sure how my daughter will handle the later novels, especially with The Dementors! We’ll take it slowly, she had lots of questions about Voldemort after we read this one.

  7. BookBairn avatar

    I really want this book but I’m not sure I can justify it. Maybe I could put it on my Christmas list! Thanks for making me want it even more! #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      It would look beautiful under the Christmas tree tied with a big ribbon 🙂

  8. Chantelle Hazelden avatar

    I have to admit I just never got into Harry Potter, didn’t even manage to finish the first book, my eldest however loves them and re reads them constantly! Thanks for sharing this with #ReadWithMe

    1. Catherine avatar

      I have a friend who couldn’t get on with Harry Potter either, maybe the books are a bit like Marmite!