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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Harry Potter and the Philosophers / Sorcerers Stone, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 20 of 20
1. Bloomsbury’s #HarryPotterSpotter

It’s time to be a #HarryPotterSpotter!  From now through November 2, Bloomsbury Publishing is sponsoring a Harry Potter artwork scavenger hunt.  Twelve prints of Jim Kay’s illustrations for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are currently on display in twelve art museums across Britain, and fans are invited to find them all and document their search on social media.

The hunt is in collaboration with Kids in Museums and The Telegraph.  Clues to the locations of the prints within the museums in the UK and Ireland are on the Bloomsbury website.  Each print is on display in a free museum or in free areas of museums.  Only one print needs to be found to enter the contest, but participants are welcome to search for all twelve.

The overall winner of our Harry Potter Spotter competition will receive family tickets to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, a Jim Kay signed print of their choice and a copy of the Deluxe Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Twelve additional prize winners will receive a Harry Potter tote bag, a Jim Kay signed print (of the print they spotted) and a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition

To play, simply take a photograph of yourself in front of one of the prints on display in a museum.  (If you don’t want to be in the photo, you can just take a picture of the print.)  Share your photo on Twitter or Instagram, using #HarryPotterSpotter.  Images should be tagged to @KidsBloomsbury and the specific museum on Twitter, or @BloomsburyPublishing and the specific museum on Instagram.  Don’t forget to see more of the museum while you are there!

For a full slideshow of the artwork, participating museums, and clues, see here.

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2. Leaky’s Review of Jim Kay’s Illustrated Edition of “Philosopher’s Stone”

It is here–it is finally here. Since it was first announced in a press release in early 2012 (yes–we have been waiting for years), fans have been eagerly awaiting Bloomsbury’s illustrated editions of the Harry Potter books. As we wondered what these books would look like, Bloomsbury took their time, carefully picking an illustrator to take the job. Jim Kay was revealed as the new set of eyes that would be reimagining our beloved Harry Potter series–it wasn’t long before every fan knew his name.

Jim Kay has expressed the extreme pressure he has experienced, undertaking such a monumental project. Harry Potter is so beloved, that the critique of fans, the actors, publishers, and the approval of the author herself could make or break his endeavors. J.K. Rowling, publishers, and many others have expressed not only their approval, but their love for Jim Kay’s vision of Harry Potter’s world. The fans are probably the hardest group of people to win over.

After so many years of waiting, the fans are excited to get their hands on a new Harry Potter book–and because of this help from Father Time, whether or not the images are to individual fans’ taste, Jim Kay’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will be eaten up from the moment bookstores open today, or UPS trucks show up at your front door.

Even though it is difficult to let go of Harry Potter envisioned in our own heads, by Mary GrandPre, and even by the films, after getting our hands on a copy of Jim Kay’s illustrated edition of Philosopher’s Stone, there is no denying that this Harry Potter book is a work of Art.





Though we hoping that Scholastic would keep the title of “Philosopher’s Stone” for Bloomsbury’s illustrated book project, the US editions of the illustrated books have maintained their US titles and rights of their US publishers. However this does not detract from the cover art of the book that we have seen over the last few months (it is even more beautiful in person).





Though it is a medieval castle full dungeons, cold and damp stone walls, and to Ron’s dismay, spiders, many of us picture Hogwarts as warm and welcoming. A place to call home for many of the lost character’s in Harry Potter–Harry, McGonnagall, and even Tom Riddle. Jim Kay’s sketches, though beautiful, are a bit more foreboding.





On page 91, Harry’s first glimpse of Hogwarts (not pictured) would remind fans of castles in gothic novels–inciting more fear than excitement.Though Harry’s arrival to Hogwarts was during a chilly September night, Hogwarts is an iconic image of beauty, with “it’s windows sparkling in the starry sky.” Some fans will like this new image of Hogwarts, others probably will not.




Even though the majority of artwork portraying Hogwarts is rather dark, there are two images that shine a more warm light on the beloved castle. The first is this scene of Draco during flying class with Madam Hooch, Hogwarts looks more inviting amongst the beautiful fall colors of the foliage in its grounds.





Chapter one throws us right into the lives of the Dursley’s along with J.K. Rowling’s opening words of the Harry Potter series. Jim Kay captures Dudley perfectly–as a over weight, spoiled, crying baby, who could not be more precious to his proud parents.




In the recent fansite interview with Jim Kay, the illustrator mentioned that one of his favorite illustrations in the book was the ghosts. We quite agree with him. The “reverse” method of painting that he used to layer on color, all the while making the ghosts still appear translucent was beautifully executed. The contrast of neon colors against the black make the ghosts glow off the page.




During the interview, when answering the same question about the ghosts, Jim Kay also mentioned that he was particularly fond of drawing the trolls. Famous Hufflepuff, Newt Scamander (who has been making news a lot recently in the muggle world), makes an appearance in Harry’s first year, as the author of one of his textbooks. Jim Kay was sure to high light this, in line with the large film project of Fantastic Beasts, with a two-page spread.




Other Fantastic Beasts make appearances, and are also highlighted across two-page spreads. The first is Hagrid’s precious baby Norwegian Ridgeback, who appears to be a lot more threatening than Baby Norbert (or should we say Norberta?). The adult dragon pictured above is very majestic, and perhaps gives us an idea of what the dragons will look like in book four.





One of the most beautiful images of a Fantastic Beast, is this piece of art portraying the unicorns that Harry, and the other in detention with Hagrid after Draco turns them in on the night Nobert(a) hatched, track in the Forbidden Forest. The image seems to have been made much in the same way as the ghosts earlier in the book, with a “reverse” painting process that makes the unicorn more transparent, and glow off the page.




The second to last image of the book is the famous scene of celebration. Harry won Gryffindor it’s first House Cup of his time at Hogwarts, and just defeated Voldemort for the first time that he can remember. The Great Hall of Hogwarts looks like the hall we are all familiar with, and we finally see Hogwarts as the community and family we know and love. The final image of the book leaves us with an outside perspective of the Great Hall, in a warm and colorful, less foreboding image of our favorite castle.

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There is no denying that Jim Kay’s artwork is a masterpiece. And though the images are beautiful and well crafted, fans’ reactions are most likely to be mixed–given their strong feelings and associations with the books they have grown up with. Though adults will buy these books, and appreciate the artwork attached to their favorite stories, the book does have a more “child story book” feel. It will definitely more difficult to look at the illustrated editions of Harry Potter as novels, and easier to hold this book as children’s literature, with beautiful pictures that will help parents bring in the new generation of young Harry Potter fans. This is not necessarily a bad thing, for no matter how old we grow, most of us will always be children at heart, and associate Harry Potter with the important role it played within our childhood.

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3. New Images from the Illustrated Edition of “Harry Potter”

The U.S and UK illustrated editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are hitting the shelves on October 6th, 2015. In January 2015, Scholastic and Bloomsbury released the first images from the book illustrated by British artist Jim Kay. Now, just a couple of weeks before the release of the book, Buzzfeed has released two new illustrations, one of them being a sketch of Harry Potter’s character.


According to Bloomsbury, the full-color illustrated edition of Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone is filled with “rich detail and humour that perfectly complements J.K. Rowling’s timeless classic”. Rowling herself has endorsed the book, saying:

“Seeing Jim Kay’s illustrations moved me profoundly. I love his interpretation of Harry Potter’s world, and I feel honoured and grateful that he has lent his talent to it.”

Buzzfeed has also released an exclusive video in which Kay talks about his artistic process and creation of his illustrations. To see that video and all of the illustrations released so far, visit the Buzzfeed article from here.  More information can also be found from the Bloomsbury website.

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4. New Images from Jim Kay’s Illustrated “Philosopher’s Stone”

Telegraph Books has released new, exclusive images from Jim Kay–whose illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is set to be released October 6. These images–all 19!–can be seen on the Telegraph’s website, here. A couple of them–McGonagall and the Sorting Hat–can be seen below.



As it is October, the celebration of the anticipated release of the first illustrated Harry Potter book is in full swing. Please join us in the celebrations!

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5. New Images from the Illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (or Sorcerer’s) Stone–and a Video about Illustrator Jim Kay’s Creative Process!

The release of the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone is nigh–in fact, it’s tomorrow (October 6th)! Four glorious new illustrations have been bestowed upon us ahead of the book’s release, thanks to an exclusive post made by EW. Steady yourselves:

There’s this striking illustration of the quidditch hoops, set against a backdrop of Hogwarts, with some very dramatic, Halloween-y colouring:



A drawing of Harry, presumably at platform 9 3/4:


along with this fascinating glimpse into the birth of Kay’s depiction of Harry:

“I was looking at all these photographs of evacuee children from the 1940s — in England, you’d call them ‘blitz kids’ — who have been taken away from their home during the blitz. They had sort of thick, scruffy hair, and round glasses, and looked sort of underfed and malnourished, from really tough East End parts of London as well. I wanted that real character coming through, some adversity. But also slightly fragile, because he’s thin, and he’s smaller than usual.”

Luckily, Kay spotted the perfect young model while riding the London Underground, and told the boy’s mother he’d like to photograph her son as a character to work from. The boy, Clay, is a stage performer, so he’s fantastically skilled at interpreting the spectrum of emotions Kay asks him to project.

This illustration and discussion of Dumbledore, which reveals that Kay has strewn easter eggs throughout his artwork (another thing to look forward to!):


“What I like about early portrait painting,” Kay says, “is that you have objects in them that are representative of that person. So the dried plant there is honesty — but on the honesty is also a little camouflaged praying mantis. It’s sort of saying, there is honesty with Dumbledore, but with a catch. There’s also a little bottle of dragon’s blood because he wrote a book on dragon’s blood. And knitting because, of course, he likes to knit.”

Dumbledore’s likeness has a special place in Kay’s heart: “He’s based on an amazing illustrator I know, who I absolutely idolize. He’s been an inspiration for years for me, so it’s a huge deal that he’s lent his face to Dumbledore.”

And his portrayal of the perilous wizard’s chess game:



And there’s yet another thing to marvel at: Pottermore has released a video of Kay discussing his creative process, along with a peek into his studio! Click here to watch it, or see it below!

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6. The Great Big Harry Potter Fansite Interview: Leaky’s Q&A with Harry Potter Illustrator Jim Kay

Today, October 6, Bloomsbury is publishing the first illustrated edition of the Harry Potter books–Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is hitting shelves in stores near you. As a part of publication celebrations, illustrator Jim Kay agreed to participate in Q&A sessions with major Harry Potter news sites, calling it The Great Big Harry Potter Fansite Interview. The Leaky Cauldron was honored with the opportunity to be apart of this event.

The Leaky staff came together to create and ask Kay four specific questions that we thought fans might like answered, and questions that Kay had not yet answered in previous interviews or Q&As. Jim Kay took the time, between drawing illustrations for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, to answer two of each site’s questions, and send never-before-seen images from Philosopher’s Stone. Please see the images and the interview below!


The Great Big Harry Potter Fansite Interview


Were you influenced by previous Harry Potter illustrators/the films or did you veer away from both?(Alwaysjkrowling.com)

I’m a huge fan of both the books and the films. I thought the screen adaptations were a wonderful showcase of the best set design, product design, costume, casting, directing and acting their disciplines had to offer. I knew from the start that I’m competing to some degree with the hundreds of people involved in the visuals of the film. I remember watching the extras that come with the movie DVDs a few years back, and wondering how on earth you’d get to be lucky enough to work on the visuals for such a great project. To be offered the opportunity to design the whole world again from scratch was fantastic, but very daunting. I’d like to think that over the years lots of illustrators will have a crack at Potter, in the same way that Alice in Wonderland has seen generations of artists offer their own take on Lewis Carroll’s novel. I had to make it my version though, and so from the start I needed to set it apart from the films. I’ll be honest I’ve only seen a few illustrations from other Potter books, so that’s not been so much of a problem. I love Jonny Duddle’s covers, and everyone should see Andrew Davidson’s engravings – they are incredible!

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What was the most important detail for you to get right with your illustrations? (Magical Menagerie)

To try and stay faithful to the book. It’s very easy when you are scribbling away to start wandering off in different directions, so you must remind yourself to keep reading Jo’s text. Technically speaking though, I think composition is important –the way the movement and characters arrange themselves on the page – this dictates the feel of the book.

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What medium do you use to create your illustrations? (Snitchseeker)

I use anything that makes a mark –I am not fussy. So I don’t rely on expensive watercolour or paints, although I do occasionally use them – I like to mix them up with cheap house paint, or wax crayons. Sometimes in a local DIY store I’ll see those small tester pots of wall paint going cheap in a clear-out sale, and I’ll buy stacks of them, and experiment with painting in layers and sanding the paint back to get nice textures. The line is almost always pencil, 4B or darker, but the colour can be a mixture of any old paint, watercolour, acrylic, and oil. Diagon Alley was unusual in that I digitally coloured the whole illustration in order to preserve the pencil line drawing. I’d recommend experimenting; there is no right or wrong way to make an illustration, just do what works for you!

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Because each book is so rich in detail, what is your personal process when choosing specific images?(The Daily Snitcher)

I read the book, then read it again and again, making notes. You start off with lots of little ideas, and draw a tiny thumbnail illustration, about the size of a postage stamp, to remind you of the idea for an illustration you had while reading the book. I then start to draw them a little bigger, about postcard size, and show them to Bloomsbury. We then think about how many illustrations will appear in each chapter, and try to get the balance of the book right by moving pictures around, dropping or adding these rough drawings as we go. With Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Bloomsbury were great in that they let me try all sorts of things out, different styles, concepts. Some I didn’t think would get into the final book, but everyone was very open to new ideas. There was no definite plan with regards to how the book would look; we just experimented and let it evolve.


(McGonagall is from Telegraph’s photos)

Given the distinct split of younger vs. more mature readers of the series, how do you construct your illustrations so that they can appeal to both audiences at once? (Mugglenet)

The simple answer is I don’t try. I think only about the author and myself. You can’t please everyone, particularly when you know how many people have read the book. I don’t think good books are made by trying to appeal to a wide audience. You just try to do the best work you can in the time given, and respect the author’s work. Most illustrators are never happy with their own work. You always feel you want to try more combinations or alternative compositions. You are forever in search of that golden illustration that just ‘works’, but of course it’s impossible to achieve –there will always be another way of representing the text. Effectively you chase rainbows until you run out of time! You get a gut feeling if an image is working. I remember what I liked as a child (Richard Scarry books!). Detail and humour grabbed me as a nipper, and it’s the same now I’m in my forties.

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Did you base any characters or items in the book on real people or things? (Leaky Cauldron)

Lots of the book is based on real places, people and experiences. It helps to make the book personal to me, and therefore important. The main characters of the books are based on real people, partly for practical reasons, because I need to see how the pupils age over seven years. In Diagon Alley in particular, some of the shop names are personal to me. As a child we had a toad in the garden called Bufo (from the latin Bufo bufo), Noltie’s Botanical Novelties is named after a very clever friend of mine who works at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh. The shop called ‘Tut’s Nuts’ is a little joke from my days working at Kew Gardens; they had in their collections some seeds from the tomb of Tutankhamun, which were affectionately known as ‘Tut’s Nuts’. The imprisoned boy reaching for an apple in Brigg’s Brooms is from a drawing my friend did when we were about 9 years old –that’s thirty two years ago!

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Which character was the most difficult to draw? (Harry Potter’s Page)

Harry, without a doubt. Children are difficult to draw because you can’t use too many lines around the eyes and face, otherwise they look old. One misplaced pencil line can age a child by years, so you have to get it just right. Also Harry’s glasses are supposed to look repaired and bent out of shape, which I’ve found tricky to get right.

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What is your favourite scene you have illustrated? (Alwaysjkrowling.com)

That’s a difficult one. I’m fond of the ghosts. I paint them in reverse (almost like a photographic negative) and layer several paintings to make them translucent. I enjoyed Nearly Headless Nick. I really enjoyed illustrating the trolls too. Your favourite illustrations tend to be the ones that gave you the least amount of difficulties and I think Diagon Alley was nice for this reason. It was more like a brainstorming exercise, slowly working from left to right. My favourite character to illustrate is Hagrid – I love big things!

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Are there any hidden messages/items in your drawings for the Harry Potter series? (Magical Menagerie)

There are, but they are little things that relate to my life, so I’m not sure how much sense they’d make to other people. I like to include my dog in illustrations if I can (he’s in Diagon Alley). I also put a hare in my work, for good luck. There’s a hare in A Monster Calls, and in Harry Potter. My friends appear as models for the characters in book one, and some of their names too can be seen carved on a door, and on Diagon Alley. There are little references to later books too, such as on the wrought-iron sign of the Leaky Cauldron. I do it to keep things interesting for me while I’m drawing.

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How did you approach illustrating the Hogwarts Castle and grounds? (Harry Potter Fan Zone)

I really enjoyed doing this. You have to go through all seven books looking for mentions of the individual rooms, turrets, doors and walls of the castle, and make lots of notes. Then you check for mentions of its position, for example if you can see the sun set from a certain window, to find out which way the castle is facing. I then built a small model out of scrap card and Plasticine and tried lighting it from different directions. It was important to see how it would look in full light, or as a silhouette. Then it was a long process of designing the Great Hall, and individual towers. I have a huge number of drawings just experimenting with different doorways, roofs. Some early compositions were quite radical, then I hit upon the idea of trees growing under, through and over the whole castle, as if the castle had grown out of the landscape. This also gives me the opportunity to show trees growing through the inside of some rooms in future illustrations.

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What illustrations in the book are you most proud of? (Leaky Cauldron)

Usually it’s the ones that took the least amount of effort! It takes me so many attempts to get an illustration to work, that if one works on the second or third attempt, it’s a big relief. There is one illustration in the book that worked first time (a chapter opener of Hogwarts architecture, with birds nesting on the chimney pots). It kind of felt wrong that the illustration was done without agonising over it for days, it didn’t feel real somehow, so I’m proud of that one because it’s so rare that I get an image to work first time! The only other illustration that was relatively straightforward was the Sorting Hat. Illustrations that come a little easier tend to have a freshness about them, and I think those two feel a little bit looser than others in the book.


Which book do you think will be the most challenging one to illustrate? (Harry Potter’s Page)

At the minute it’s book two! I think book one I was full of adrenaline, driven by sheer terror! Book two I want to have a different feel, and that makes it challenging to start again and rethink the process.

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Is there a particular scene in the future Harry Potter books you’re excited to illustrate? (Harry Potter Fan Zone)

I’m really looking forward to painting Aragog in book two. I’m really fond of spiders – there are lots in my studio – so it’s great having reference close to hand! I’m hoping that by the Deathly Hallows we will be fully into a darker and more adult style of illustration, to reflect the perils facing Potter!

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How many illustrations did you initially do for the book, and how many of those appeared in the final edition? (Snitchseeker)

There are stacks of concept drawings that no one will ever see, such as the Hogwarts sketches, which I needed to do in order to get my head around the book. Then there are rough drawings, then rough drawings that are worked up a little more, and then it might take five or six attempts for each illustration to get it right.

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What house do you think you may have been placed in, aged 11, and would it be the same now? (Mugglenet)

I’d like to think it was Ravenclaw as a child. I was much more confident back then, and creative, plus they have an interesting house ghost in the form of the Grey Lady. These days I work hard and am loyal, so probably Hufflepuff.

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Illustrating aside, what is one thing that you love doing to express your creativity? (The Daily Snitcher)

It’s difficult to say because for the past 5 years I have worked on illustration seven days a week, every hour of the day. A few years back I started to write, and I really enjoyed that, it’s far more intimate than illustrating, and I love going over the same line and trying to hone it down to the core of what you are trying to express. My partner makes hats, and I’m very envious. It looks like wonderful fun. We have lots of designs for hats in sketchbooks. I really want to get some time to make some. I’ve always been slightly torn that I didn’t go into fashion, but my sewing is terrible. I used to play guitar a lot and write little bits of music, but that’s difficult now because my hand gets very stiff from drawing all day! The funny thing is, if I did ever get a day off, I’d just want to draw!

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This morning, J.K. Rowling invited all to check out the book and “see Harry Potter through Jim Kay’s extraordinary eyes,” and Pottermore also released their exclusive interview.

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone–Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay, is now available from any book retailer near you (or online)! Happy reading and please let us know your impressions of the new version of the Harry Potter books–our favorite books!

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7. Rare Harry Potter Sketch by UK Illustrator Up for Auction

A sketch of Harry Potter with the mythical hippogriff Buckbeak drawn by former Harry Potter illustrator Cliff Wright will be up for auction at the end of the month, the Daily Mail reports.

Mr. Wright was the illustrator of the UK Harry Potter book covers for Sorcerer's Stone through Prisoner of Azkaban. The sketch was made in 2002, and is estimated to sell for £10,000 at the Antiques for Everyone Fair in Birmingham from October 27 - 30.

See a preview of this rare drawing at this link!

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8. Pottermore Behind the Scenes: Creating the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor Crests

The Pottermore Insider is giving fans a special behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the Hogwarts house crests illustrations used on the site.

In this first blog post, the step-by-step process for the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw crests are detailed showing preliminary sketches and the coloring process.

In coming up with these crests, created by Atomhawk Design, the Pottermore Insider says:

The starting point for each of the house crests was the Hogwarts crest, which first appeared on the title pages of the Harry Potter books, and represents all four Hogwarts houses. This original artwork and J.K. Rowling’s descriptions of the houses were used to inspire four unique house emblems for Pottermore.
The artists started by talking about the best way to include the natural elements of fire, earth, water and air into each house; what the best positions and expressions for the animals would be; and the most effective way to include the house colours in the final designs.
Read about the complete process at this link. The creation of the Slytherin and Hufflepuff crests will be published next week!

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9. Pottermore Insider Reveals Making of Hufflepuff and Slytherin Crests

As a continuation of last week's blog post, the Pottermore Insider is giving fans a look behind-the-scenes at the creation of the four Hogwarts house crests.

Once again, a step-by-step process is outlined, this time for the Slytherin and Hufflepuff crests. The illustrations were created by Atomhawk Design. Read more about it here.

On creating the Hufflepuff crest, the team says:

The Hufflepuff crest proved to be the most difficult creation for the team. There is a limited amount of detail about Hufflepuff house in "Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone" and they were aware that they needed to work a little harder to make the crest feel authentic and representative of the Hufflepuff nature. There was also the question of how to show the badger as a tenacious animal, to show Hufflepuffs as unafraid of hard work.
Also interesting to note is the direction of the Slytherin snake on the crest:
Some of the Pottermore Slytherin community have already noticed that theirs is the only animal looking to the left, while the other house crests have animals looking to the right. This was a decision that came about during the final stages of design, when the crests were all placed together.
To read about the making of the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor crests, visit this link.

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10. Pottermore Shop Now Open, Harry Potter eBooks and Digital Audio Books Available for First Time

The official Pottermore shop was launched this morning, marking the first time that the Harry Potter books are available to buy in an eBook and digital audio book format.

This will be the only place to purchase digital copies of the Harry Potter series, which will be available in all formats for eReaders, tablets, smartphones and mp3 players.

The eBooks for Years 1-3 are available for $7.99, while Years 4-7 are priced at $9.99. Or, the complete series can be purchased for $57.54.

Digital audio books for Years 1-3 will cost $29.99, and Years 4-7 is priced at $44.99. The complete Harry Potter audio collection can be purchased for $ 242.94.

Even though the Pottermore shop is now open, Pottermore remains in beta. It's expected to open to everyone in April.

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11. J.K. Rowling to be Awarded Freedom of the City of London on May 8

J.K. Rowling will receive the Freedom of the City of London on Tuesday, May 8 for her services to children's literature, according to a press release from the City of London.

The ceremony will take place at the Mansion House, the official residence of London's Lord Mayor. She will read aloud the Declaration of a Freeman and be presented with a framed parchment certificate.

In a statement, Ms. Rowling spoke of what the award means to her and some special perks:

“Both my parents were Londoners.  They met on a train departing from King’s Cross Station in 1964, and while neither of them ever lived in London again, both their daughters headed straight for the capital the moment that they were independent.  To me, London is packed with personal memories, but it has never lost the aura of excitement and mystery that it had during trips to see family as a child.
“I am prouder than I can say to be given the Freedom of the City, which, on top of all the known benefits (and few people realize this), entitles me to a free pint in The Leaky Cauldron and a ten Galleon voucher to spend in Diagon Alley.”

The Freedom of the City of London can be traced back to 1237. Today, people are presented with the award because it offers them a link with the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions.

Thank you to In Honor of Rowling for the tip!

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12. Scholars Congregate in Scotland to Discuss Literary Merits of Harry Potter Books

According to BBC News, a group of more than 60 scholars have congregated at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland to discuss the literary merits of the Harry Potter series over the next two days.

The conference, entitled "A Brand of Fictional Magic: Reading Harry Potter as Literature," will feature over 50 lectures about the series with topics ranging from the role of paganism, British national identity and how death is dealt with in the books. A complete anthology based on this conference is expected to be published in 2013.

Conference organizer, Professor John Patrick Pazdziora, had this to say about putting together such a conference:

"We can't avoid the fact that Harry Potter is the main narrative experience of an entire generation - the children who literally grew up with Harry Potter.
"The Harry Potter novels are simply the most important and influential children's books of the late-20th and early 21st Centuries."
"For very many people, this is their first experience of literature, and of literary art. So they want to think about it, and analyse it, and talk about it."

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13. Bloomsbury Launches Competition Celebrating 15 Years of Harry Potter

Bloomsbury wants to know: are you the biggest Harry Potter fan?

The British publisher of the Harry Potter series is hosting a competition to find the biggest fan in the U.K. and Ireland. Fans will only be able to enter the competition by submitting an entry though participating bookshops and libraries. More than 1,800 venues will be participating; a map and list of locations is provided on Bloomsbury's website.

Instructions to enter the competition are as follows:

To enter write in no more than 50 words why you love HARRY POTTER, and post your letter in the special postbox provided in your local bookshop or library.

We are looking for the most creative, clever and entertaining reasons and, while the word limit it set to a strict 50 words, please do draw, doodle or illustrate your letters if you wish.

The grand prize winner will receive a family holiday to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort and a leather-bound, signed, dedicated and numbered 15th Anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Fourteen runners-up will also be chosen, and they too will receive the aforementioned 15th anniversary edition of Philsopher's Stone.

The competition begins today and will run until July 31st. Good luck to all who enter!

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14. Deluxe Edition of Illustrated “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”

Bloomsbury has announced that it will be releasing a deluxe edition of the anticipated illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Bloomsbury laid plans for the illustrated books in 2012. Since the first press release announced that Jim Kay would be providing the artwork for an illustrated version of J.K. Rowling’s masterpieces, sneak previews and images have been slowly released.

New from Bloomsbury comes a press release, along with more pictures, of the a gilded, cloth-bound, deluxe edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. This deluxe edition will be published after the initial release of the illustrated books (October) on November 5.

Additional features of the deluxe edition include a pull out double-sized picture of Diagon Alley, exclusive to this edition, purple cloth cover and slipcase, gilt with gold along the edges of top grade paper, as well as the cover, head and tail bands, and two ribbon page markers. An image of the deluxe edition can be seen below.




The deluxe edition will be exclusively sold at Bloomsbury from November 5, 2015 until March 2016. At that time, the book will be available through other retailers. Sold alongside the standard illustrated edition which will cost 30 pounds ($40 in the US, or $21 on Amazon), the deluxe edition will cost 150 pounds ($270 for US buyers). Bloomsbury is offering a 10% to bring the price down to 135 pounds.

The Press Release reads:

The deluxe illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling’s timeless classic will feature an exclusive pull-out double gatefold of Diagon Alley; intricate foiled line art by Jim Kay on a real cloth cover and slipcase; gilt edges on premium grade paper; head and tail bands and two ribbon markers. It is the ultimate must-have edition for any fan, collector or bibliophile. This edition will be sold exclusively from the Bloomsbury.com website until March 2016 when it will be made available to retail outlets.

This special edition is an utterly enchanting feast of a book and something to treasure for a lifetime. Brimming with rich detail and humour, Jim Kay’s dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters will captivate fans and new readers alike. In oil, pastel, pencil, watercolour, pixels and a myriad of other techniques, Jim Kay has created over 115 astonishing illustrations.

The Harry Potter books will grow in size to accommodate all the new images. Published through Bloomsbury, one can hope that the deluxe edition of the illustrated Philosopher’s Stone will be available through Scholastic or Amazon come March 2016.

Thanks to MuggleNet and Hypable for bringing this news story to our attention.

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15. First Look: Mary GrandPre Exhibit, Including New Alternate Covers for "Deathly Hallows," "Half-Blood Prince"

As reported previously, an exhibition of works by artist Mary GrandPre has now opened at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art in Iowa, and contains highlights of her work done for the US editions of the Harry Potter book series. Today, thanks to TLC staffer Jeff, we can now show you a sample of the many pieces of art in this display, including a first look at an alternative cover for Harry Potter and... Read the rest of this post

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16. Scholastic to Release New Box Set of Harry Potter Paperbacks

Scholastic, the US publishers of the Harry Potter novels, will be releasing a new box set of the series this summer. This new collection, which you can see here in our galleries, is available for pre-order via Barnes and Noble, as well as Walmart.  Included in the collection are the set of US paperback editions of books one through seven, with the box to feature the Deluxe cover from Harry Pott... Read the rest of this post

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17. Followup: First Editon Copy of Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone Sells at Record Price

A quick followup this morning regarding this story from last month involving an auction of a rare First Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Scores of you owled to let us know the auction was completed, with the book selling for a record $19,120. The AP reports that "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" was one of only 200 copies from the first printing issued with illustra... Read the rest of this post

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18. Cast Signed Half-Blood Prince Book, Uncorrected Proofs and Signed First Edition Harry Potter Novels Due for Auction

Next month, there will be a very large auction for a number of rare and valuable collection of children's literature including several Harry Potter novels by author J.K. Rowling. With the auction to take place on December 16th, items of note will include a rare uncorrected proof of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, uncorrected proof copy of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, plus ... Read the rest of this post

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19. Scholastic and a Decade of Harry Potter

As the year draws to an end, Scholastic, US publishers of the Harry Potter novels, have a reminder for us today of the remarkable decade that was, and the amazing impact of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. The sales figures are staggering, but as publisher Arthur A. Levine and VP of Scholastic reminds us, the true magic has been in the reading:

"What the numbers leave out is the singular
... Read the rest of this post

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20. Latest Batch of Pottermore Early Access E-mails Sent Out

The Pottemore Insider has been updated to say that a new batch of Welcome e-mails for Pottermore beta access were sent out today, August 25th, from 2:45pm BST (9:45am EST).

Welcome e-mails were also sent out yesterday to a lucky few.

You can read Leaky's first thoughts on Pottermore at this link. If you already have access to the beta version of Pottermore, let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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