Later this year will be an exciting time for Potterheads because that when the first fully illustrated version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in the UK/Europe and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the US is going to be published. There have been several new versions of this book but none have been like this one and it is going to be a must-have book for anyone who loves this series.
That's a pretty bold statement, isn't it? But I have a feeling you will agree after you find out what's inside this lovingly crafted edition. There will be not one or two new illustrations but over 115! Yes, over 115 illustrations of the Boy Who Lived and his first year at Hogwarts.
These aren't your run-of-the-mill illustrations - they are beautifully drawn and fully colored, highly detailed images that recreate many, if not all, of your favorite scenes from the books. The illustrations were created with oil, pastel, pencil, watercolor, pixels, and a variety of other artistic techniques.
There are going to be three versions of this book for sale. Two standard illustrated editions will be published on October 6th (one in the UK and one in the US) and the deluxe slipcase edition will be published on November 5, 2015 (in the UK). Here are details about each edition, including where you can pre-order them.
You can get a look at some of the images that are in the book by visiting illustrator Jim Kay's website. They are stunningly beautiful! Want to know what Jim Kay has to say about being selected to illustrate this edition of the first Harry Potter book? You can read an interview with him here.
'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' Illustrated Edition (UK Edition)
This edition has over 115 new full-color illustrations by Jim Kay throughout the entire book. It has a hardcover and a red bookmark ribbon.
The book measures 10.5 x 8.9 in (267 x 226 mm), and is being published by Bloomsbury. This version is only being sold to residents in the UK, Europe, and much of the world except for the USA (Bloomsbury does not have the rights to sell to the USA). The publication date is October 6, 2015.
The suggested retail price is £30 ($46.90 on August 17, 2015) but is available for £27 as the pre-order price on the Bloomsbury website. This price is currently eligible for free shipping.
'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' Illustrated Edition (USA Edition)
This is the same as the UK illustrated edition (not the deluxe edition), but is the American version of the book and is being published by Arthur A. Levine Books. The list price in the US is $39.99 but it is available for pre-sale on Amazon for less. You can check the price and pre-order it below.
'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' Deluxe Illustrated Slipcase Edition
The deluxe slipcase edition is an upgrade of the edition discussed above and has features that the other one does not. In addition to the 115+ color illustrations, these exclusive features include:
- Larger book size (I'm not sure of the dimensions because they are not listed)
- Gilt edges on premium grade paper
- Pull-out double gatefold of Diagon Alley
- Intricate foiled line art by Jim Kay on the real cloth cover and slipcase
- Head and tail bands and two ribbon markers
This version is only being sold to residents in the UK, Europe, and much of the world except for the USA (Bloomsbury does not have the rights to sell to the USA), and is being published by Bloomsbury. The publication date is November 5, 2015.
The suggested retail price is £150 ($234.53 on August 17, 2015) but is currently available for £135 as the pre-order price on the Bloomsbury website. This price is currently eligible for free shipping.
The deluxe edition is exclusive to the Bloomsbury website and for the time being that is the only place where you will be able to buy it. I contacted Bloomsbury and asked if the deluxe edition will only be sold on their site, or if it will eventually be sold at other sources. I was told that after March, 2016, the deluxe edition published by Bloomsbury "will be made available from all retailers in the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia."
I also asked why it can't be bought by people with a US address. The response I got was, "We hold rights in most countries excluding the US, which is why you will need to contact Scholastic should you wish to purchase the book."
I contacted Scholastic but the response I got was about the standard illustrated edition, not the deluxe edition. I asked again and clarified about which book I was contacting them about, but I haven't heard back from Scholastic. Honestly, I don't think it will be sold in the US because it isn't currently available for pre-sale, but I can hope!
Update: The slipcase edition is being sold in the United States. Yeah!