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America’s Most Prominent Children’s Illustrator Takes on Harry Potter

A new generation of readers can now have their own images to get nostalgic about.

Anyone looking to see the Hogwarts crew in a new light, rejoice: To honor the 20th anniversary of the Harry Potter series, Scholastic, the series’ longtime US publisher, will be releasing special editions of all seven entries with new cover illustrations by renowned illustrator Brian Selznick in July of 2018.

Redefining the look of Harry and co is no small task, but Selznick is an ideal choice for the job. He’s been a children’s book writer and illustrator since 1991 having written/illustrated six titles and illustrated another 20 other books. Selznick is best known for writing and illustrating The Invention of Hugo Cabret in 2007. For his work on that book, which was later adapted into Martin Scorcese’s critically acclaimed Hugo, Selznick won the 2008 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration.

Selznick’s illustrations will be something of a departure from the original illustrations by American artist Mary GrandPré. While GrandPré’s illustrations are vivid, beautiful, and, for anyone who grew up during the first wave of Pottermania, timeless, Selznick’s occupy a more meticulously detailed lane that will surely lend itself well to the series. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Ellie Berger, President of Scholastic Trade, even went as far as to call Selznick’s style “unique”, “cinematic”, and “visionary.”

The new editions of the series will coincide with a whole year worth of activities planned by the US publisher in celebration of Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary. Along with the 20th anniversary of the series this year, ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ will make have its official Broadway opening and the “Harry Potter: A History Of Magic,” exhibit will be opening up at the New York Historical in fall of 2018.