Marshmallow began this blog with a review of J.K. Rowling’s The Cursed Child. Recently she began rereading the original Harry Potter series in their illustrated versions, and a couple weeks ago, she reviewed the illustrated edition of the first book in the series: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Today she reviews the second volume, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, illustrated by Jim Kay.
Marshmallow’s Quick Take: If you are reading the Harry Potter books for the first time, or you are rereading them and really like Harry Potter, then this illustrated edition might be the book for you.
Marshmallow’s Summary (with Spoilers): Harry Potter is spending the summer with his aunt, uncle, and cousin Dudley, which is not his idea of a good vacation. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon adore Dudley and dislike Harry. The reason the Dursleys dislike Harry is because Harry is a most unusual boy, and the Dursleys dislike everything that is out of the ordinary. And sadly, there is not anywhere else for him to go, as he is an orphan.
Last year, (in the first book of the series), Harry learned that his parents were both wizards, and that they were killed by an evil wizard named Lord Voldemort, who was so feared that even after his “death”, people still called him “you-know-who”. You-know-who killed Harry’s parents and then attempted to kill Harry. But somehow, Voldemort’s curse rebounded on himself, and he was weakened, and many wizards thought he was killed. Since Harry was only a baby when this terrible event occurred, he did not remember any of this. He did not even know that he was a wizard, that his parents were murdered, that he somehow “defeated” Lord Voldemort, and as a result, was famous and admired in a world that he didn’t even know existed. He thought that he was a poor orphan and that his aunt and uncle had to take him in and that his parents were killed in a car crash. However, as clueless as he was about his past, Harry did know that the Durleys certainly did not like him and simply tolerated him. They even kept him locked up in a cupboard under the stairs.
Luckily, events last year caused the Dursleys to move Harry to Dudley’s second bedroom. Now they want to lock Harry in his bedroom when Uncle Vernon’s guests arrive. But then, a house-elf named Dobby appears and warns/tells Harry that he can’t go back to Hogwarts, Harry’s school and favorite place in the world, because according to Dobby, terrible things are going to happen.
Harry basically ignores Dobby, even though Dobby makes it pretty hard to do that. When he returns to Hogwarts, which is more difficult than usual for a lot of reasons, he finds that listening to Dobby might have been a good idea.
Marshmallow’s Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a really good sequel to the first book, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone. The book itself is amazing, and with the illustrations, it makes a great choice for readers who are reading the Harry Potter series for the first time, or for readers who love the series and want to reread the books with some new features (like the pictures).
I don’t think that this is a shortened version or a longer version than the original. The whole thing is in here in all its details, and Jim Kay draws beautiful pictures that really bring the story to life. Even in pages that don’t have a ton of drawings, the corners are decorated with related pictures. I found it very interesting to see what Jim Kay thought each character looked like.
Talking about characters, J.K. Rowling is very good at creating characters that are lovable (Dobby), characters that are relatable (Harry), characters that are realistic (Ron, Harry’s friend), characters that are admirable (Hermione, Harry’s friend who is very smart), and characters that are VERY annoying (Lockhart, a professor who comes to teach at Hogwarts).
I think that this is also a great book to read before or after watching the movie version of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Here is the trailer for the movie, which I have watched several times already:
Marshmallow’s Rating: 100%.