10:12 am EST, December 6, 2013

Bloomsbury to republish ‘fully-illustrated’ ‘Harry Potter’ series – first look!

The Harry Potter books are being republished in the United Kingdom with “fully-illustrated” editions, and two previews were unveiled Friday.

Jim Kay, an award winning designer, will illustrate the series. The first book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is due to be released in September 2015. Each book will be released on an annual basis to follow the publishing pattern the series initially enjoyed while readers grew up with the characters.

Kay said to The Guardian today, “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. However, I am also mindful of the huge responsibility this represents. I want to make sure I do the best job I possibly can.”

Two illustrations were released this morning to mark the announcement. They depict Harry (with his glasses broken on the side – d’aw) in the first book and Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:


Hogwarts as imagined by Jim Kay

The publisher’s head of publicity commented on today’s news. “Bloomsbury has long wished to illustrate the titles but with such a huge project it had to be done at the correct time and with the correct illustrator. We selected a range of artists, discussed them with J.K. Rowling, and all decided Jim would be fantastic.”

Bloomsbury is speaking with international publishers in hopes of spreading these illustrated versions out across the world. Will Scholastic be interested after just re-releasing the books with new covers in August?

It remains to be seen just how illustrated these books will be. A new image every few pages? Once a chapter? Given the length of the books, we’re not surprised that Bloomsbury is spacing these book releases out a year apart from one another.

These illustrated Harry Potter books will certainly be a big draw for new generations of readers, and we look forward to flipping through them.

Bloomsbury first revealed their intention to re-release the Harry Potter books with illustrations in February 2012.

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