MinaLima Editions: the Harry Potter books at their most vibrantly beautiful

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Illustration from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (MinaLima edition)
Photo: MinaLima

Beautiful books – especially those with stunning illustrations – are one of my greatest weaknesses. And what could be more captivating than these special editions of Harry Potter by MinaLima?

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, the MinaLima books should absolutely be on your bookshelves or Christmas list – they’re beautiful keepsakes for any fan to treasure, as well as the best gifts for Harry Potter fans that I’ve come across.

But first up, what is MinaLima? Based in London, MinaLima is the award-winning design studio best known for establishing the visual graphic style of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, making them the best possible team to create these special illustrated editions of the books.

Is the illustrated Harry Potter worth it? Personally, I think so. Reading an illustrated version adds even more magic to the story, and the high-quality MinaLima editions offer dazzling nostalgia in what I see as the best illustrated Harry Potter books.

The MinaLima editions contain the full, unabridged stories, so nothing is lost from J.K. Rowling’s original writing. In fact, with vibrant full-color illustrations on nearly every page and interactive paper craft elements, they’re worth it even if you already have the original paperbacks (or Jim Kay’s illustrated versions, which are also excellent in their own more muted way).

Three of the MinaLima Harry Potter books are out so far, including the latest addition to the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which has just been released in October 2023. Read on for my review of the books (including Book 3) and decide which you’ll add to your shelves first.

Book 1: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stoneor if you’re in the UK, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – is where it all begins for Harry, Ron, and Hermione. This is the book so many of us recall most fondly from the series, so if you treat yourself or a loved one to any of the MinaLima editions, this is a perfect choice.

Released in 2020, the MinaLima edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone offers full-color illustrations on nearly every page, created in the delightful and characteristically vibrant tones of the designers. The book is a high-quality and well-made hardcover, with gold foiling and embossed details on the cover for extra special touches.

What’s more, there are eight interactive paper craft elements for readers to immerse themselves in the world of Hogwarts, beginning with opening Harry’s Hogwarts letter and later, revealing the magical entryway to Diagon Alley and making a sumptuous feast appear in the Great Hall.

Photo: MinaLima
Photo: MinaLima

Book 2: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Released in 2021, the MinaLima edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets offers just as much nostalgia as The Sorcerer’s Stone. Like Book 1, it also contains full-color illustrations throughout the book as well as interactive paper craft elements featuring the Whomping Willow, the Weasleys’ Burrow, and traveling via the Floo Network.

I adore the book’s cover, the illustration showing the Hogwarts Express and Ron and Harry in the Flying Ford Anglia, complete with magic-inspiring gold foiling and embossed details. And as soon as you open the book, you fall under its spell with whimsical illustrations to accompany every part of the iconic story.

Illustrated by MinaLima
Illustrated by MinaLima

Book 3: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (new for 2023)

Just released in October 2023, I think MinaLima Book 3 (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) is the best book of the series so far. The cover is moody and magical with blues and purples that perfectly complement MinaLima’s iconic gold leaf and embossed areas.

As you return to Hogwarts through these beautiful pages, you’ll get to enjoy the new interactive elements for this volume: exploring the Knight Bus, revealing the Grim in a teacup in Trelawney’s class, and spinning the Time-Turner.

As it’s straight off the press, this bewitching MinaLima Book 3 makes for one of the best Christmas gifts for Harry Potter fans this year, especially if they already own the previous two editions.

Illustrated by MinaLima
Illustration from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (MinaLima edition)
Illustrated by MinaLima

Is there a plan for MinaLima Book 4, The Goblet of Fire? Right now, there doesn’t seem to be. It looks like MinaLima is contacted about each book individually. In any case, as Book 4 has over 600 pages in a standard paperback, MinaLima would likely need to split Book 4 into two separate volumes. Watch this space for more updates…

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