The first book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — was published 20 years ago — yes, 20 years!
As part of Scholastic’s year-long celebration of the anniversary —which actually falls in June — the publishing house revealed new book covers on Tuesday that are especially magical. When placed side by side, the black and white covers create one single image.
“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,” said the artist Brian Selznick, a self-declared Hufflepuff, per the press release. “One of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of the process was drawing seven independent covers that would stand on their own, while making sure that they also lined up to create one single satisfying image. It took dozens and dozens of sketches to get it right, and I am thrilled to share my great love for the books with these new illustrations.”
The covers feature favorite characters like Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Professor Dumbledore with special details like a Time-Turner, the Triwizard Tournament maze and Harry’s Patronus. Together the covers tell “the overarching story that begins with Harry’s arrival at Number Four, Privet Drive, through the epic conclusion of the Battle of Hogwarts,” according to the press release.
The series will be published in paperback on June 26 and will be followed by a collectible box set designed by Selznick in September.
Potterheads better brace themselves, because this is just the beginning of Harry Potter news. Scholastic plans on hosting big events throughout the year, including celebrations at bookstores, schools, libraries, and festivals (per the release). On top of that, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes to Broadway on April 22, the New-York Historical Society will open the “Harry Potter: A History of Magic” exhibit on Oct. 5, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald arrives in theaters on Nov. 16.
“Twenty years ago we introduced American readers to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and for this anniversary moment we want to celebrate just how vital and relevant her storytelling is still today,” said publisher Arthur Levine, per a statement. “The wonder of Brian Selznick’s new cover interpretations is that he makes us see these beloved characters as if we’re just meeting them – and indeed we hope a new generation does exactly that.”
Visit the Pottermore website to learn more about the book covers.