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review 2018-08-13 06:08
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban - Illustrated by Jim Kay
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition - J.K. Rowling,Jim Kay

This rating reflects the art. For the text - click here.

 

Beautiful illustrations, some better choices. I had more words about the illustrated editions, but they got lost somewhere along the way. I only noticed they were gone when I started trying to fix some of the more important dead links in the thousand-odd reviews I imported into the site.

 

They're dead through my deleting of my Goodreads account, the import function on Booklikes is fantastic. I suspect any lost reviews are user error (i.e. my fault), and shouldn't reflect on this site.

 

Anyway, I expect to have an illustrated 'Goblet of Fire' ready for my better half under the tree, and I'll try to do a more thorough critique.

 

Next: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Illustrated

 

Previous: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Illustrated

 

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review 2018-08-13 05:59
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Illustrated by Jim Kay
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition - J.K. Rowling,Jim Kay

This review is more about the art. For a review of the text: click here.

 

I've been collecting these the past few years as Christmas presents for my husband. They're beautifully done, but as a crazy fan, I of course have some issues. Kay is a fine artist, but its seems like many of his choices of subject were arbitrary, if not bizarre. I was also disappointed in how long it took for any female character at all to be illustrated - Mrs. Dursely doesn't count and you know it!

 

Throughout the book there are a lot of extra touches, ink blots on the 'parchment' pages and so on, that help make up for it, but only a little.

 

This makes for a nice present, but I expected something better from a deluxe illustrated edition.

 

Next: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Illustrated

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review 2018-08-13 05:59
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Illustrated by Jim Kay
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition - J.K. Rowling,Jim Kay

This rating refers to the art, not the text. It is a relief to get rid of those ugly covers, but I still have some issues with Kay's illustration choices. Of course, the 20th Anniversary covers (on yet another edition) by the otherwise talented Brian Selznick leaves much to be desired. Don't even get me started.

 

For my thoughts on the text of the book itself - click here.

 

Next: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Illustrated

 

Previous: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - Illustrated

 

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review 2018-07-10 04:45
The Vivien Greene Dolls' House Collection by Vivien Greene
The Vivien Greene Dolls' House Collection - Vivien Greene,Margaret Towner

This book, apparently, cannot be called comprehensive, but it clues the reader into the long history of dolls' houses as works of art and later as children's toys. Greene began her collection before WWII, hunting out and rescuing many early examples of houses, dolls, and furniture. Outside of the V&A Childhood Museum and a few other institutions, few entities could offer the timeline that this book does. Of course, like with most everything before Victorian factories mastered mass-production, everything was handmade and unique.

Dolls are not my collection, per se, but I've always loved miniatures as works of art and as playthings. Everything was reproduced in miniature, examples of naive mantel painting in a dollhouse here may be the only surviving example of its type. The same goes for many mundane items scattered through the kitchens and parlors of the houses here. The things that were reproduced in this period, especially the Victorian when these were playthings not curiosities, are remarkable.

I also enjoyed Greene's flights of fancy, which she indulged in when she was a young collector and didn't know any better, or when the house in question was already stripped of its original features, such as with her Bed & Breakfast for Cats. Charming. I can see how if one had the room and the resources a collection of these cabinet houses would be delightful and rewarding.

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review 2018-07-10 03:59
Intimate Grandeur: Vermont's State House by Nancy Price Graff
Intimate Grandeur: Vermont's State House - Nancy Price Graff,David Schutz II

As advertised. 'Intimate Grandeur' is a coffee-table book history of Vermont's State House. While I'm sure that every state house building is noteworthy simply because of its place at the center of politics, Vermont's is a beautifully restored gem of 19th century public architecture.

I was lucky enough to have a guided tour 'after hours' of the building this past winter and was awestruck at the massive yet delicate plasterwork, the mostly-original custom lighting fixtures and furniture, all restored and converted from gas to electricty. Every detail down to the carpets were brought back after decades of neglect.

'Intimate Grandeur' is a history of the building itself, and its two predecessors, but also a history of civic responsibility and preservation. Even when fashions changed and inconvenient 'decadent' chandeliers were banished from chambers they were carefully stowed away, waiting to be rediscovered.

I picked this book up as a memento of the tour. Beautifully done.

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