MinaLima, the design studio behind the graphic props of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, teased a stunning edition of The Philosopher’s Stone a few months ago, and after being disappointed by the illustrated editions I decided to bite the £30 cost and pre-order it.
Harry Potter is a series that got me through a very rough childhood, and while I enjoyed the big illustrated editions by Jim Kay, I felt a little disappointed – it was promised that it was fully illustrated and with pages and pages of just text, it was decidedly not that.
So what does the MinaLima edition have to offer? Well they promise illustrations too, but also interactive and fold out elements, which was kept very secret until the last couple of weeks before. I was both excited and nervous when I got my shipping notification, and did it live up to the cost?
Oh, it did.
Every single chapter section starts like this, and there is so many details to look at. Each new section teases what we will be seeing or where we will be visiting over the next few pages, with MinaLima’s own take on the world, which felt completely true to the book.
Rather than making me wade through pages of text to get to illustrations, MinaLima cover their pages in them, adding so much to the story that it took me 3 times longer than normal to finish it, because I couldn’t stop looking at everything. Even the pages with no illustrations, which are quite rare, still have the gorgeous corner borders.
There are multiple full page illustrations like these throughout, sometimes half a page in landscape or portrait size, and even illustrations that cover two pages. While this book is MinaLima’s own style, I loved that each scene was instantly recognisable.
This was the first interactive element I came across, and when I say my jaw dropped?! I did spend a good 5 minutes playing with this. There’s also a portrait of the Fat Lady whose eyes move, and pop out chess set and you can even unravel Quirrel’s Turban which is… a bit weird.
The biggest fold out page is this Diagon Alley street, which folds out on the left too but was a nightmare to get a picture of! You can see so many details hidden away and even Knockturn Alley, which features later in the story.
To note a few downsides, this book is smaller than the big illustrated edition, and better for shelves which is good! However, the weight is probably the same. This book is so, so heavy and very thick. Which leads me to wondering, we’re all hoping that this is the start of MinaLima making the whole series but with this being so thick and heavy, I don’t see any way to do The Goblet Of Fire and subsequent sequels without splitting it into multiple books. So I’m really hopeful for future books, but I am worried.
What do you think of the new edition? Let me know in the comments!
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