What You Need to Know About the HARRY POTTER Illustrated Editions

The Harry Potter illustrated editions by Bloomsbury are beautiful masterpieces and perfect additions to any fan’s library. Jim Kay, the award-winning illustrator, has been working for the past few years to bring life to the beloved series. Unfortunately, illustrating a seven-book series takes a loooong time (especially with well over 100 illustrations per book!), so we’ve still got a ways to go before you can pick yourself up a complete set. The Sorcerer’s Stone was released back in 2015, with Chamber of Secrets following a year later, and Prisoner of Azkaban coming October 3 of this year.

Also available from Bloomsbury are deluxe illustrated editions, which include exclusive foldout illustrations and come in cloth slipcases with intricate gold foiled designs.

Jim Kay uses a variety of techniques to create a truly magical and dynamic experience in the Harry Potter illustrated editions. Something that particularly stands out is the amount of time he spends adding all kinds of tiny details into each piece. For example, look at the carvings and graffiti on the door behind Hermione in this illustration from The Sorcerer’s Stone.

And the intricacies of this feature about the phoenix that can be found in Chamber of Secrets.

Here’s a night landscape featuring the Knight Bus from the upcoming Prisoner of Azkaban illustrated edition.

Looking at the above illustrations, one can see how Kay varies his style between different types of illustrations and as the story itself moves into a darker tone. Check out this feature on Pottermore or his own website for more insight on Kay’s process and to see more of his amazing art.

Other Harry Potter illustrated editions 

Fortunately, because this is a series so beloved around the world, there are infinite ways we can enjoy the books and the story without a full set of Harry Potter illustrated editions available at our fingertips right this second. Here are a few illustrated-edition-adjacent options to tide us over.

1. The illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was just released by Amazon as an ebook using Kindle in Motion technology. By viewing the ebook with a compatible Fire tablet or through the Kindle app for iOS or Android, Jim Kay’s gorgeous illustrations come to life through animation, bringing a whole new dimension to the book and its art.

2. It’s not available just yet, but Bloomsbury is also publishing an illustrated edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them with art by Olivia Lomenech. It will be released November 7.

3. A great way to enjoy extra awesomeness in all seven books of the series is through the Harry Potter Enhanced Editions, created through a collaboration between Pottermore and Apple.

4. And, finally, if you’re interested in other artists’ takes on the series, check out Kate’s great post featuring Harry Potter covers from around the world.


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Patricia Thang: With too many interests to keep track of, Patricia Thang is a free spirit who has dabbled in science, nonprofit, property management, and who knows what next. Books have always been a part of the picture too, though not in a professional sense (...yet?). She is a Los Angeles native through-and-through, though she did a short-but-sweet stint in Pittsburgh for school, and dreams of living in Tokyo, where her parents are from. Most of the time, she can be found with her nose in a book, her ears in headphones, or her arms around her beloved dog, Sean. Twitter: @aintnopthang