You may already own the entire Harry Potter book series — let's face it, if you're a true Potterhead, you own multiple versions of it — but this June, you're going to have to make room on your bookshelves for another set. On Tuesday, Scholastic unveiled seven new Brian Selznick-illustrated covers in honor of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and galloping gargoyles, these babies are even more gorgeous than the beauties of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic.
As part of their year-long campaign to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone's release in the U.S., Scholastic is releasing paperback editions of the entire seven book series that feature brand new covers designed by bestselling author Brian Selznick. Each one is done in the Caldecott Medal-winning artist's signature black-and-white style, and features all of your favorite characters and the most memorable scenes from the beloved series. When they're put together side by side, all seven stunning covers come together to create a sprawling image that captures the wonder and magic of Harry Potter's story, from the moment he was dropped at his aunt and uncle's door, to the series' epilogue at the platform of the Hogwarts Express.
Check it out below:
In a statement unveiling the new covers, Selznick describes himself as "huge Harry Potter fan (a proud Hufflepuff!)," and both his love for the series and his house's penchant for hard work, patience, and dedication show in each intricate cover. From Hagrid's dragon egg and a baby Harry on The Sorcerer's Stone to a hidden doe Patronus and a weary-eyed Dumbledore on The Deathly Hallows and everything in between, Selznick's breathtaking artwork not only tells the remarkable story of the Boy Who Lived, but it truly captures the spirit and heart of Rowling's series.
"I knew this project came with so much responsibility to the stories, as well as to the readers," Selznick said in the statement about the design. "I revisited the books and was especially moved by the relationships between the characters in J.K. Rowling’s magical world, so I wanted these covers to reflect that."
In this Potterhead's modest opinion, Selznick nailed it, but see the covers below and judge for yourself:
Just like the original cover for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the lightning bolt scar is prominently featured in this new design, but can you also spot a tiny Professor Quirrell, turban and all, just below Harry Potter's ear? How ominous.
When it comes to the new cover for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the question really is what isn't featured in this detailed design? If you look closely, you can see everything from a young Tom riddle to a giant Aragog.
Each cover is stunning in its own way, but my personal favorite is the new design for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which prominently features my personal hero, Hermione Granger. If you ask me, it's high time she got a little cover attention. Afterall, she saves the day just as often, if not more so, than the series' titular character.
In his design for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Selznick not only brings the Triwizard Tournament to life, but he even sneaks in hints towards its tragic end.
If you didn't already hate Dolores Umbridge, her dramatic and distrustful portrayal on the new cover of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix surely will.
Probably my second personal favorite, this beautiful portrait of Dumbledore on the cover of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is so stunning, I want to frame it and hang it in my own common room.
Last but certainly not least, the cover for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows shows the series epic finale, but also captures just how much the Golden Trio has grown since the first book, and why the story matters even after its done.
You might be anxious to get your muggle hands on these magical paperbacks, but you're going to have to hold your hippogriffs, because the newly designed books don't hit shelves until June 26. Until then, there are plenty of other ways to join in on Scholastic's year-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter's introduction to U.S. audiences. You can brush up your wizard trivia with the recently released Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic, peruse the "Harry Potter: A History of Magic" exhibit online, or find a celebration event at a local bookstore, library, or festival near you.