Brian Selznick to Illustrate New Covers to Celebrate US 20th Anniversary of “Harry Potter”

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that illustrator Kazu Kibuishi created new covers for the Potter series, honoring 15 years since the release of the first book in the US, but it’s already time for a new illustrator to tackle the task of creating covers for this iconic series. Brian Selznick, the author and illustrator of works like The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, will provide new covers for all seven books as part of Scholastic’s 20th-anniversary festivities.

 

 

As American fans know, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone wasn’t released by Scholastic until a year after Bloomsbury’s publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997, meaning that for US fans, celebrations honoring two decades of Potter are just beginning. While Bloomsbury marked the occasion with the release of House editions (which will soon include Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!), Scholastic has instead tapped one of its most popular authors – and Caldecott-winning illustrator – to give the series a revamped look.

Selznick is understandably excited to tackle the role:

I’m a big Harry Potter fan, and it is an incredible honor to illustrate J.K. Rowling’s iconic series. I am thrilled to play a part in this exciting 20th[-]anniversary celebration and look forward to meeting Harry Potter fans and readers across the country.

Ellie Berger, President of Scholastic Trade, also praised Selznick’s involvement:

Brian Selznick, with his unique and cinematic approach, is a visionary and the perfect artist to illustrate these new Harry Potter editions, for readers of all ages. As the longtime U.S. publisher of Harry Potter, we’ve seen firsthand the impact of the series over the past twenty years — from the early support and enthusiasm among booksellers and librarians, to kids discovering the books for the first time, and to families and friends lining up for midnight parties. On this milestone anniversary, we are excited to join the legions of fans as we celebrate this cultural phenomenon and look forward to introducing Harry Potter to a new generation of readers.

Selznick’s designs will grace new paperback editions of the series, set to be released in July 2018; a box-set of all seven new covers will follow in September 2018.

Sharp-eyed fans will have noticed Selznick’s comments about meeting readers across the country, and in a press release, Scholastic has teased that it is planning major events at bookstores, libraries, schools, and festivals across the US. We’ll be updating readers as we receive more information about the celebrations, so keep an eye out in the coming months!

Are you excited to hear that Selznick will be giving a new take on the Potter covers? How do you think he’ll do?

Press Release

Scholastic to Publish New Editions of the Harry Potter Series in Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the U.S. Publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Bestselling and Caldecott Medal-Winning Artist Brian Selznick to Illustrate Seven New Covers

(New York, NY – January 17, 2018) Harry Potter fans of all ages can look forward to a magical 2018. As part of its year-long campaign to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL) announced today that worldwide bestselling and Caldecott Medal-winning artist Brian Selznick will illustrate new paperback editions of J.K. Rowling’s bestselling Harry Potter series to be published in July 2018. A collectible boxed set designed by Selznick also will be available in September.

“I’m a big Harry Potter fan and it is an incredible honor to illustrate J.K. Rowling’s iconic series,” said Brian Selznick. “I am thrilled to play a part in this exciting 20th anniversary celebration and look forward to meeting Harry Potter fans and readers across the country.”

“Brian Selznick, with his unique and cinematic approach, is a visionary and the perfect artist to illustrate these new Harry Potter editions, for readers of all ages,” said Ellie Berger, President, Scholastic Trade. “As the longtime U.S. publisher of Harry Potter, we’ve seen firsthand the impact of the series over the past twenty years—from the early support and enthusiasm among booksellers and librarians, to kids discovering the books for the first time, and to families and friends lining up for midnight parties. On this milestone anniversary, we are excited to join the legions of fans as we celebrate this cultural phenomenon, and look forward to introducing Harry Potter to a new generation of readers.”

To mark the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Scholastic is planning major events throughout the year including celebrations at bookstores, libraries, schools, and festivals around the country. The Wizarding World will have one of its busiest years ever in the U.S. with the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child coming to Broadway in April; the British Library’s exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic opening at the New-York Historical Society in October; and the 2nd Fantastic Beasts movie, The Crimes of Grindelwald, opening in theaters in November. In addition to the newly designed paperback editions, Scholastic will publish books in conjunction with the exhibition and film. The seven Harry Potter books have sold more than 160 million copies in the U.S. alone and over 450 million copies worldwide. The books are published in over 200 territories in 80 languages.

Brian Selznick’s books have garnered countless accolades worldwide, and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He is the Caldecott Medal-winning creator of the #1 New York Times bestsellers The Invention of Hugo Cabret, adapted into Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning movie Hugo; and Wonderstruck, adapted by celebrated filmmaker Todd Haynes, with a screenplay by Selznick; as well as The Marvels, which is loosely connected to Hugo and Wonderstruck by themes of family and discovery. Selznick recently worked with Christopher Wheeldon on a new narrative for a re-imagined Nutcracker at the Joffrey Ballet. Selznick has also worked as a puppeteer and a set designer, and began his career as a bookseller at Eeyore’s Books for Children in New York City. His most recent project is Baby Monkey, Private Eye, a nearly 200-page illustrated book for beginning readers co-written with his husband Dr. David Serlin. They divide their time between Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books, a leading provider of core literacy curriculum and professional services, and a producer of educational and entertaining children’s media. The Company creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning programs for pre-K to grade 12, classroom magazines and other products and services that support children’s learning both in school and at home. With operations in 14 international offices and exports to 165 countries, Scholastic makes quality, affordable books available to all children around the world through school-based book clubs and book fairs, classroom collections, school and public libraries, retail and online. True to its mission of 97 years to encourage the personal and intellectual growth of all children beginning with literacy, the Company has earned a reputation as a trusted partner to educators and families. Learn more at www.scholastic.com.

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.