Well-known publishing company Scholastic, Inc. is re-releasing deluxe versions of all seven Harry Potter books with full illustrations among the pages.
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On Jan. 13, Scholastic, Inc. announced that they will release a hardcover version of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” on Oct. 6 of this year. The new versions are complete with detailed, full-color illustrations throughout as well as a ribbon marker, head and tail bands and illustrated endpapers. The next six books in the series will follow suit and be released sequentially in the coming years, with one release per year.
The deluxe versions of the books feature the art of Kate Greenaway Award-winner Jim Kay. In the announcement made by Scholastic, Kay explained both his excitement and hesitation to illustrate the beloved books.
“To be given the opportunity to design the characters, the clothing, the architecture and landscapes to possibly the most expansive fantasy world in children’s literature, well let’s just say I’m extremely excited about it,” Kay said. “However, I am also mindful of the huge responsibility this represents. I want to make sure I do the best job I possibly can.”
J.K. Rowling has approved all of the illustrations so far, and her approval will be required for all other illustrations for the rest of the series.
“The story is everything, and so I want to bring what I can to really show the depth of Rowling’s stories to their best,” Kay said.
Scholastic, Inc. made a similar announcement within the last two years, in which it declared that the covers of all seven books would be redesigned as well.
But is the makeover needed?
Artists from countries all over the world have created versions of Harry Potter cover art, and many fans are accustomed to the artwork they first experienced.
BYU freshman Madison Barney has read the entire series “at least 30 times” but is not a fan of the new illustrations.
“It wasn’t really how I pictured the characters. They all looked really gaunt,” Barney said. “To me, they look animated; they don’t look realistic.”
Barney admitted that the illustrations would have made the book more enjoyable the first time around.
“As a kid, I really liked illustrations, so I think I would have enjoyed it even more,” Barney said.
The idea of illustrations did not strike a chord with BYU Quidditch Club captain James Call either.
“Changing covers doesn’t bother me, but I like reading and creating the pictures in my own mind,” he said.
Overall, the “Harry Potter” series has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide and has staked its ground on the bestseller list, remaining there since its release back in 1998.