harry potter

Few things are likely to make some of our American readers feel old as the realization that this year marks the twentieth anniversary of the first American publication of ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’  (the novel was originally published a year earlier in the UK). As the series’ longtime American publisher, it’s only natural that Scholastic would be part of the anniversary celebration, but what do they have in mind?

Well, the first announcement to come down regarding the publisher’s anniversary plans is perhaps the least surprising. Much as they did for the fifteenth anniversary, Scholastic plans to release new editions of all seven novels, for which new cover art has been commissioned. This time around, the new covers will be illustrated by Brian Selznick. Of his involvement, Selznick had this to say:

“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 twentieth anniversary celebration and look forward to meeting ‘Harry Potter’ fans and readers across the country.”

Selznick is a Caldecott Medal-winning artist best known for writing and illustrating the New York Times bestsellers ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret’, ‘Wonderstruck’, and ‘The Marvels’.

Scholastic Trade President Ellie Berger chimed in on what makes Selznick the right artist for the occasion:

“Brian Selznick, with his unique and cinematic approach, is a visionary artist to illustrate these new ‘Harry Potter’ editions, for readers of all ages. As the longtime US 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.”

The new Selznick-illustrated editions of the ‘Harry Potter’ novels will hit shelves beginning in July, with a box set (also designed by Selznick) will be available in September.

Be sure to check back for more information on the year-long celebration of the twentieth anniversary of ‘Harry Potter’ as it becomes available!