Harry Potter fans can rejoice. Bloomsbury Publishing and Scholastic Corporation are set to release a new illustrated version based on the books. The new edition will hit shelves on Oct. 6, 2015, with color artwork by award-winning illustrator, Jim Kay.
The Harry Potter series, which was released in 1997, has always been considered children’s literature. However, never before have the popular books taken the classic form of young people’s literature: the picture book.
Scholastic plans to publish fully illustrated editions of all seven books in the series. It was announced artist Jim Kay would help reimagine the characters from this magical world for a new generation of readers.
According to The Huffington Post, Kay admitted he felt “an explosion of delight followed instantly by an implosion of brain-freezing terror,” when he found out he would illustrate the series.
During an interview with The Guardian, Kay discussed the challenge of redesigning such influential characters from the series.
“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,” said Kay. “However, I am also mindful of the huge responsibility this represents. I want to make sure I do the best job I possibly can.”
A couple of JCU students gave their reactions to the addition of illustrations to the Harry Potter novels.
Freshman Christina Hickey commented, “I’ve already seen some of the illustrations online, and they look so spot-on to what I originally imagined the characters to look like before the movies ever came out.”
“I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I grew up reading the books with my family,” said sophomore Aubrey Steward. “I think the idea of an illustrated version of the series is very exciting, but I am also a little skeptical. No matter what, I look forward to seeing the new take on the books.”
According to Time magazine, it was confirmed that J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, met with Kay and gave him her approval during the illustration process.
According to The Guardian, Kay expressed that working side-by-side with Rowling was an important aspect for him.
“I want to bring what I can to really show the depth of Rowling’s stories, to their best. Rowling’s creation of an entire world is a bit like magic,” said Kay. “It’s like a spell that jumps from person to person, recasting itself as it goes. I want to keep that spell going, perhaps adding my own little twist, if possible. I hope over the years we will see lots of different illustrators having a go, in the way that Alice in Wonderland has inspired artists for over a century.”
Editor’s Note: Information from Franchise Herald, The Guardian, The Huffington Post and Time magazine was used in this article.