So, the news broke today: all of the seven Harry Potter books will be re-published with full-color illustrations that look unbelievable. The first book will be published October 6, 2015, which gives me just enough time to start saving my pennies. Take a look at some of the illustrations, by Jim Kay:
photos from Hypable
This announcement gave me flashbacks of being 13 years old again, waiting for the new book to be published and scouring MuggleNet for spoilers and theories and clues, waiting for JK Rowling’s office door to open on her website and reveal chapter titles and cover art. As Hypable pointed out, the new illustrations feature some minuscule details that hint at plot points. They think it may lead to new insights about the series, and I can’t help but agree.
The classic Mary Grandpre illustrations influenced my imagination so much when I was kid, to the point where I see my characters as her illustrations, and never really changed my perceptions of them when the films were released. New illustrations mean new interpretations of the characters, the settings, the themes. It’s incredibly exciting for a Harry Potter nerd and bookworm like me.
I wonder how much JK Rowling collaborated with the new illustrator. I know Pottermore is supposed to be the official interactive Harry Potter experience, and it’s true that I love it as a companion medium, but the new illustrated books seriously have me singing with joy. Bound books are better than a computer screen any day. Now—where is that Harry Potter encyclopedia Jo promised us?
Also, these new illustrated books mean that Potter is still relevant, that an entire new generation of young readers will get to explore Potter in a new way, something that’s uniquely theirs. Potter changed the way the world—and young people—read back when it was first published, and the new announcement means the books are on track to remain in the hearts of children for generations.
A new Potter book will be published each year, which means I will be collecting these until I turn 30. WHOA.
What do you guys think of the new illustrations?