Book Reveal: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – Illustrated Edition

To help get us all in the mood for the upcoming Harry Potter Book Night on Feburary 5th, I wanted to share some exciting Harry Potter news: a new and exciting edition of Harry Potter is coming your way! Yes, yes I know, everyone has at least one set of our favourite wizarding series, and we all have at least 2 other editions on our wishlist, but this one is extra special… it is illustrated!!

All seven of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books will be published in stunning full-colour editions, illustrated by the award-winning artist Jim Kay. The first in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, will be published globally on 6th October 2015! This will be the first fully illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling’s original Harry Potter novel, which I am super excited about, as I love illustrated books! There is no cover as yet, but it has beed said that the hardback edition will include ribbon marker, head and tail bands, illustrated endpapers and artwork on every spread.

Here is what Jim Kay had to say about illustrating Harry Potter:

“To be given the opportunity to design the characters, the clothing, the architecture and landscapes to possibly the most expansive fantasy world in children’s literature, well let’s just say I’m extremely excited about it,” said Kay.   “The story is everything, and so I want to bring what I can to really show the depth of Rowling’s stories, to their best.”

Who’s excited?? I am!!!

And just to get you all revved up for this amazing release, Bloomsbury have released 4 images from this new edition. The images show four major characters from the Harry Potter books – Rubeus Hagrid, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy and Ron Weasley, and you can see them below:

 

  

  

You can pre-order this book now from The Book Depository

 

Also to get you excited for this upcoming edition, thanks to Bloomsbury, we also have a quick Q&A with Jim Kay

Q&A with Jim Kay

How did you feel when you found out you would be illustrating the Harry Potter novels?

Scientists say the Big Bang is to be followed by the Big Crunch, I feel I have firsthand experience of this theory, for hearing the news that I’d got the commission was an explosion of delight, followed instantly by an implosion of brain-freezing terror. From my point of view it is, without doubt, the best commission you can be given – I’m a bit of a control freak, so to be given the opportunity to design the characters, the clothing the architecture and landscapes to possibly the most expansive fantasy world in children’s literature, well lets just say I’m extremely excited about it. However, I am also mindful of the huge responsibility this represents, I just want to make sure I do the best job I possibly can.

 

Is there a particular character or scene that you are looking forward to illustrating?

It’s like trying to choose the shiniest object in Aladdin’s Cave; you pick up one treasure, and another gem
catches your eye. I couldn’t even pick a favourite creature at the moment (maybe a Thestral, or a Bowtruckle, but then the goblins are wonderful characters, mind you there are trolls too – you see my problem!). It’s been lovely thinking about creating the characters, but at the moment my favourite task is creating Hogwarts – it’s the first time I’ve thought about building something supported by magic – it’s harder than you’d think.

 

How do you as an artist approach such a large job? Where do you begin with such a wide range of possibilities?

It sounds obvious but you start with the text. The story is everything, and so I want to bring what I can to really show the depth of Rowling’s stories, to their best. Then it’s a case of research, and lots of it. The books have made me look at people differently, I’m always scanning crowds for interesting faces. For an illustrator there’s no such thing as an ugly or odd looking person – they are all interesting. Luckily for me, Kettering is home to some very interesting people indeed. Museums and libraries are my favourite places for inspiration. You might see something, it could be a medieval shoe, an old clock, or a stuffed monkey and immediately it gives you ideas about the characters in the story, the things they would do, the way they walk. The tricky thing I’ve found is my annoying habit of reigning in the more fantastical elements of my sketches when working them up, it’s taken a while for it to sink in that for this commission I can go a little bit crazy. Above my desk, the words ‘It’s Fantasy, Stupid” are now a daily reminder to have a bit of fun.

 

Are you a Harry Potter fan? If so, what are your first memories of reading the books?

I AM a Harry Potter fan, although true to form, I arrived a little late to the party. I actually heard Stephen Fry’s wonderful audio book of Philosopher’s Stone before reading it, initially because I’d sat on a tube train full of school children who were chatting about Potter with great excitement. It was actually the recollections of starting a new school that really connected with me (we moved house when I was young, and I had to start at a big school where I didn’t know anybody). As an adult I’d forgotten how hard school actually was, and it all came flooding back – particularly when reading The Order of the Phoenix – the dread of exams! It’s amazing to think, all of Potter’s world, the streets, the shops, the creatures, the characters, all of these wonderful things come from the brain of one person. To me, that’s magic, some grey matter in someone’s head inspires others to read, play, and create ideas of their own. It’s like a spell that jumps from person to person, recasting itself as it goes. I want to keep that spell going, perhaps adding my own little twist, if possible. I hope over the years we will see lots of different illustrators having a go, in the way that Alice in Wonderland has inspired artists for over a century.

 

Who is your favourite character from the Harry Potter universe?

This is like trying to choose your favourite record, it changes all the time. I have a soft spot for Neville, particularly because of his awkwardness, but you have to admire Hermione, because she puts the hours in at the library, she’s the cement really that holds it all together, well it would be a different story. I want to know more about Severus, there’s so much depth there. Visually, though, it has to be Hagrid; he’s got a wonderful heart, clothed in an enormous, shabby body. Hagrid’s hut is, for me, like an extension of his physique: it makes him a part of Hogwarts, but keeps him at a distance too.

 

What were your favourite books as a child?

I remember sitting up in bed, with a copy of one of Willard Price’s Adventure series in my hands, and on my lap a colossal book of facts such as The Encyclopaedia of Natural History. You see, Willard’s books were ripping yarns about two brothers who got into all sorts of scrapes searching for rare and exotic animals in far-flung places. So I’d read about their adventures, then swot up on the animals they found. Those fact books were so heavy, I couldn’t feel my feet after a few chapters, but I was in nerd-heaven, nonetheless.

 

Who are your favourite illustrators (either classic or modern)?

Crumbs, so many, Eric Ravilious for his paintings, Edmund Dulac for his exquisite colour, I think Alexis
Deacon is an astonishing draughtsman, possibly the most gifted illustrator around, and I love the work of Ian Miller too, who produces wonderful illustrations of castles, knights, goblins and orcs. I’d love to see his version of Harry Potter; it would take a brave child to enter Miller’s Hogwarts I reckon.

 

How would you describe your own art style?

I tend to change my style to fit the story, which makes life very difficult, but it’s good to keep pushing yourself. If something’s not a little bit frightening, then it’s probably not worth doing. I’m still learning about illustration, and I still feel pretty new to this (this will be my third book), and I hope I never stop learning, because there are so many things I want to try – I feel I haven’t scratched the surface yet.

 

What tips would you offer to young people who are keen to become artists/illustrators?

I’ve met a lot of children who say they can’t draw or paint very well, and believe that a life as an artist or a
designer is therefore closed to them. It’s tragic because the ideas they have are often incredible, and I think ideas are the most valuable possession of anyone in a creative industry. Drawing and painting is a bit like playing the guitar; if you practise enough you will get better with time, so don’t worry about that side of it, just concentrate on getting your ideas down, because that’s what makes you different from everybody else. And don’t forget, if you have a great idea, it will shine through the crudest of drawings, in the same way a great song might only need three chords on a guitar to bring it to life.

 

Do you have a daily routine when it comes to illustrating?

Well, it’s remarkably unremarkable: Get up, walk the dog, draw all day and all night, throw all of the days work in the bin, and go to bed hoping tomorrow is one of those days where something stays out of the bin. At the moment the bin is winning 3-0, I’m hoping tomorrow I’ll score a couple of away goals.

 

 

Also, just a quick reminder not for forget Harry Potter Book Night on February 5th! Events are happening all over the world, so be sure to check with your local school, bookshop or library for Harry Potter Book Night events. For those who cannot get out to attend an event, the Aussie YA Bloggers & Readers group will be taking part in a Potterthon. We’ll be tweeting, and sharing our Potter themed posts, GIFS and your reviews of any book in the Harry Potter series and spin offs (I even have a very different Harry Potter themed post planned). But don’t forget to use the hashtag #HarryPotterBookNight when Tweeting your quotes and readalong progress!

 

 

 

W..W..W.. Wednesdays

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to tell you what we have been up to for the past few weeks.  W..W..W.. Wednesdays is a weekly meme bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.

 

What are you currently reading?

Kristy - I will be starting Red Queen very soon… I just need to find the time to actually read.

 

What did you recently finish reading?

Kristy - Sadly I have nothing to report here. It is even sadder considering we had a long weekend. I watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower, does that count? (watching the movie is much more enjoyable than the book for me).

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Kristy - I really don’t know, my TBR pile is so big, I have no idea how to tackle it.

 

 

What is everyone out there reading at the moment, and more importantly is it a good read? Share your links below!

Celebrate Australian Authors

Happy Australia Day everyone!!!! Not only is it a day to celebrate the our pretty amazing country, but also to celebrate what it contains – which includes fabulous authors. And why should we just celebrate all things Aussie on one day only? We shouldn’t – especially our authors! So here is a (incomplete) list of Aussie books being released in 2015.

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Stacking the Shelves #95

 

Hi everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the Australia Day long weekend (if you aren’t in Australia, can you still enjoy it with us!)

Stacking the Shelves is what we have added to our bookshelves in couple of weeks. Stacking the Shelves is bought to you by Tynga from Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

 

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Review: The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) – Samantha Shannon

Release Date: January 27th 2015
Published By: Bloomsbury
Pages: 528
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal penal colony of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the fugitives are still missing and she is the most wanted person in London.

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner.

Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided. Will Paige know who to trust? The hunt for the dreamwalker is on.

Review: From the get-go I knew this book would take a different direction to the first one – in fact this seems to be Shannon’s favourite thing to do: change the direction of the whole story at the very end. But it worked, and I really liked it.

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Review: I Was Here – Gayle Forman

Release Date: January 29th 2015
Published By: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 288
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

Review: I Was Here is a real and emotional account of a young person dealing with the suicide of someone they love. The hurt, the guilt, the suffering, the longing, the never ending questions. It is a heartfelt story of a girl whose sun has died, but finds that even the smallest rays of sunshine can help you survive.

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W..W..W.. Wednesdays

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to tell you what we have been up to for the past few weeks.  W..W..W.. Wednesdays is a weekly meme bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.

 

What are you currently reading?

Kristy - Sadly nothing. Work is over-taking my life at the moment, so I won’t be picking up anything until the weekend (at least).

 

What did you recently finish reading?

Kristy - Ensnared (Splintered, #3) by A.G. Howard. I finished this series after reading them back to back :)

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Kristy - I really don’t know. I will decide on the weekend, after I get over this hellish week.

 

 

What is everyone out there reading at the moment, and more importantly is it a good read? Share your links below!

Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender – Leslye Walton

Release Date: March 25th 2014
Published By: Candlewick Press
Pages: 301
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 4 out of 5

Synopsis: Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

Review: This book is kind of intensely amazing.

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W..W..W.. Wednesdays

Welcome to the new year everyone!!! A whole year a head of reading new books, revisiting loved ones and the joy of getting our TBR pile down to a manageable level (I know, I know, I am dreaming, but I bet it was one of your resolutions this year).

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to tell you what we have been up to for the past few weeks.  W..W..W.. Wednesdays is a weekly meme bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted a  W..W..W.. guys. Life has been crazy, and sadly, that means not a lot of reading L(

 

What are you currently reading?

Kristy - Unhinged (Splintered, #2) by A.G. Howard. I was kind of peer pressured into reading Splintered, and now I just want more of this series!

 

What did you recently finish reading?

Kristy - I Was Here by Gayle Forman, Falling into Place by Amy Zhang (I won’t be reviewing this as Jocie already has), Splintered (Splintered, #1) by A.G.Howard, as well as the novella The Moth in the Mirror (Splintered, #1.5).

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Kristy - All going well, I am planning on reading Ensnared (Splintered, #3) by A.G. Howard next.

 

 

What is everyone out there reading at the moment, and more importantly is it a good read? Share your links below!

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – E. Lockhart

Release Date: January 1st 2015 (originally January 1st 2008)
Published By: Allen & Unwin
Pages: 352
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3 out of 5

Synopsis: Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14: Debate Club. Her father’s ‘bunny rabbit’. A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15: A knockout figure. A sharp tongue. A chip on her shoulder.

And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.

Frankie Landau-Banks: No longer the kind of girl to take ‘no’ for an answer. Especially when ‘no’ means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society. Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places. Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them. When she knows Matthew’s lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.

Frankie Landau-Banks at age 16: Possibly a criminal mastermind.

This is the story of how she got that way.

Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is being released in Australia in 2015, and I jumped at the chance to read another E. Lockhart book, as I loved We Were Liars so much. So I will admit that I had high expectations for this book. And maybe this is where I set it up to fail. I just didn’t connect to The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks like I did with We Were Liars.

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Review: Captive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2) – Aimee Carter

Release Date: November 25th 2014
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 304
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list
Purchase: Click here to purchase

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: For the past two months, Kitty Doe’s life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister’s niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she’s accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she’ll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?

Review: This review contains spoilers for the previous book.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, it was a strong start to ‘The Blackcoat Rebellion‘. I enjoyed the storyline, and I liked the spunky protagonist, Kitty. I especially loved the conspiracies, the secrets and the power-games. And I was looking forward to more of all of this in Captive.

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W..W..W.. Wednesdays

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to tell you what we have been up to for the past few weeks.  W..W..W.. Wednesdays is a weekly meme bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted a  W..W..W.. guys. Life has been crazy, and sadly, that means not a lot of reading L(

 

What are you currently reading?

Kristy - I Was Here by Gayle Forman.

 

What did you recently finish reading?

Kristy – Sparks Rise (The Darkest Minds #2.5) and In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3) by Alexandra Bracken. I also read Corruption (Disruption #2) by Jessica Shirvington, The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie RutkoskiCaptive (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #2) by Aimee Carter and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart.

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Kristy - To be honest, I have no idea! I have so many great books here waiting to be read.

 

 

What is everyone out there reading at the moment, and more importantly is it a good read? Share your links below!

The Book Closes on 2014

thebookcloses

 

I cannot believe that 2014 is almost over! Melissa and I have had a big year, and I thought I would share our thoughts on the year that has flown by!

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Stacking the Shelves #94

 

Hi everyone! We hope you had a great Christmas!!!

Stacking the Shelves is what we have added to our bookshelves in couple of weeks. I haven’t done a Stacking the Shelves for a while, as I was busy buying presents for others rather than myself, but a few did trickle in. I also didn’t get books for Christmas, it seems most of my friends are too scared to buy me books in case I already have them lol. The 2 books I did get are not novels, so I won’t add them to my list below.

Stacking the Shelves is bought to you by Tynga from Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

 

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Christmas Inspired By Fiction #7

Hey everyone! We are back with some more festive cheer! It is only a few days before Christmas, so here are some last minute ideas on how to merge your love of books and Christmas together! This will be the last Christmas Inspired by Fiction for 2014 – I just cannot believe it is Christmas already! Whether you have been naughty or nice, we hope that Santa is kind to you all, and brings you lots of bookish goodies :)

 

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