Nearly everyone on the planet has read the Harry Potter books by now, so I’m not going to give this book a traditional review. I only want to talk about my reading experience with the illustrated edition of The Prisoner of Azkaban.
More than any other books, the Harry Potter Series spurred my love of reading. There were times in my life when I felt too busy or burdened to read, but I would always make time each summer for these books as they released. I quite literally grew up with the characters, reading the books at the same age as the characters were. I read the first book in 2000 when I was ten and The Deathly Hallows the summer after my senior year of high school. Even from childhood, I knew I wanted to share these books with my own children someday and have been waiting for the time when they would be old enough to comprehend the stories. Luckily, the books illustrated by Jim Kay were the perfect way to begin these books a little earlier with my young children.
We have a tradition going, though my kids know the movies inside and out, I’m being a bit of a mean mom and making my kids wait to read the books as the illustrated editions come out. We are at the mercy of Jim Kay’s talent, waiting until the Goblet of Fire is released in its illustrated form to continue with the series. I also don’t let my kids flip ahead to sneak peeks at the pictures. Each time we turn the page, a surprise is waiting for us on the other side. This makes reading the series even more fun than I expected, as we want to read to more and more just to look at the gorgeous artwork.
I was most excited to read The Prisoner of Azkaban because it’s my favorite book of the entire series. The Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs revelation blew my mind as a kid and I couldn’t wait for my kids to experience it too…since it’s unfortunately left out of the movie adaptation. As we crept toward the end of the story, my daughter was begging me to continue reading until my voice was so hoarse, I had to stop. As I hoped, she was nearly as excited about the ending of the story as I was as a child.
I’m extremely grateful for these moments, sharing my own childhood favorites with my kids, thanks to J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay. The books and the memories they have fostered will be forever cherished.