Jim Kay Works Wonders with the Illustrated “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”
At this point, a new installment of the Harry Potter series illustrated by Jim Kay needs no introduction. If you’re one of the few fans who hasn’t yet been won over by the artist’s evocative renderings of the Potter world, the rest of us can only gaze back at you in bafflement. It comes as no surprise, then, to report that Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a breathtaking achievement.
There was a lot of speculation among fans that Goblet of Fire, at 300 pages longer than Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in the original American editions, would be an impossibly hefty volume to illustrate. In fact, through some book sorcery of margins and illustration distribution, it appears only slightly thicker than the previous installment. (Even so, it’s hard to imagine that the illustrated Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be anything other than gargantuan.)
Though this means that there are a couple of chapters with sparse illustrations, rest assured that this volume feels just as full of magic and beauty as its predecessors. Flipping through its glossy pages, I never felt there was a shortage of Kay’s deft sketches, paintings, and page adornments.
My favorite thing about the phenomenon of the Harry Potter illustrated editions has always been the way they refocus attention on the text of the series. The movies have their own appeal, but for me, they have never been matched by what I found in the books themselves. I still remember being outraged after leaving a showing of the Goblet of Fire film: Why did they have to make Hermione’s dress pink instead of blue? The book clearly says her Yule Ball robes are “made of a floaty, periwinkle-blue material” (GoF 414). To ignore that small detail somehow felt that they were wrenching something I loved away from me. In Jim Kay’s version, Hermione gets her periwinkle-blue robes back, and then some.
For a book like this, even the most detailed review will never be equal to the experience of just looking through Kay’s artwork yourself. If you have to wait a while before getting your hands on a copy of this gorgeous volume, take solace in a preview in the gallery below. And if you realize now you can’t go one more day without having the illustrated Goblet of Fire in your possession, you can get your copy here.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Scholastic, for review.