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Harry Potter Illustrated Books Collection (Pack of 7)

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Bloomsbury is a leading independent publishing house. The children’s division publishes books for children and young adults in print, eBook and audio. It publishes across preschool, picture books, fiction and non-fiction. Its award-winning, diverse list includes authors such as J.K. Rowling, Benjamin Zephaniah, Katherine Rundell, Neil Gaiman, Renée Watson and Sarah J. Maas, and illustrators such as Chris Riddell, Emily Gravett, Rikin Parekh, Kate Pankhurst, Jim Kay and Tom Percival. For more information go to www.bloomsbury.com I put off reading the Harry Potter series for so, so long as I thought it would be too juvenile. (I didn't see the movies, either). I love fantasy fiction, but I'm more apt to read the works of Terry Goodkind or Terry Brooks as opposed to books intended for young adults. I am incredibly glad that I gave the Harry Potter series a chance. While the first couple of books are definitely geared towards young adult readers, the world, the characters, and the story that Rowling creates are all so fascinating and fun that it really doesn't matter. I'm currently reading the series a 2nd time and I'm enjoying them even more than I did the 1st time. These books are absolutely timeless classics and are among my all-time favorite books.

Bloomsbury Children’s Books said, ‘Working with Jim on these wonderful books has been a magical experience. Readers feel a deep, emotional connection to his work, appreciating the stories in new ways as they marvel at the richness and artistry of each piece. We feel so grateful and privileged to have enjoyed Jim’s vision of the wizarding world, and recognise the staggering amount of dedication and work it represents. We will miss collaborating with Jim enormously, but he will always have a very special place in our Harry Potter family of unparalleled illustration talent.’ Harry Potter is a fantastic series. One might be tempted to think it's overblown or over-rated by its enthusiasts. One would, in fact, be forgiven for taking that impression almost exclusively from the movies; they're enjoyable enough in their own right, but suffer problems of less-than-amazing adaptation and fluctuations in creative vision that make the film series feel somewhat disjointed and less-thoughtful than the books they're based on, and have the added problem of the younger actors and actresses often taking a few films to develop the skills to portray their characters naturally (an occupational hazard of a fantasy epic that relies on child actors, really). The Harry Potter novels, meanwhile, provide an arguably smoother introduction and, subsequently, a more fleshed-out experience in Harry's world, with the earlier, shorter books providing a comfortable and more "episodic" early portion that's great for allowing readers to get their feet wet, becoming gradually more involved and complex until the build-up culminates with the fourth and fifth novels, where the story goes all-in on characterization and worldbuilding detail, presuming the writer to be fully invested by that point, and keeping that level of maturity and intensity right up to the ending of the final volume.

Harry Potter Illustrated Editions - series press release

Each Harry Potter Illustrated Edition represents a huge and unique creative endeavour to bring to life the magic of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. Bloomsbury is exploring exciting new directions in illustration for the last two stories in the series. But one thing that might surprise people unfamiliar with Potter is that this is not a fantasy action-adventure series. It's more of a mystery series coated in a gooey chocolate fantasy syrup. Harry Potter himself tends to fill the role of a combination Frodo Baggins figure and up-and-coming detective character, and the most important plot points are, regardless of who figures out or explains a given part of things, presented as mysteries. Action sequences occur and can be quite intense, particularly in later volumes, but this is not the story of a big, super-cool hero slaying dragons; it's a story of circumstance, figuring out the circumstance, and then reacting to the circumstance. Some readers seem annoyed by the fact that eleven-year-old Harry never matures in this series to a point where by the end of magical high school he's capable of going head-to-head in a duel with a Dark Lord with decades of extensive magical knowledge under his belt, but that is simply not the angle that this series goes for. My comparison of Harry to Frodo Baggins was not an idle-name-drop. Harry's role in this story is very deliberately that of the hero who stands strong against adversity but ultimately triumphs through low-key action behind the scenes of a conflict in which number other, more powerful or more experienced combatants command the bulk of the Dark Lord's attention. And, like Frodo (and his progenitor, Bilbo), sometimes Harry is helped by sheer circumstance, the timely and skillful intervention of one of his friends, or a combination of his own efforts plus those things. The series does give us a fairly clear picture of what an action-centric lead character in this universe might look like, and I think that's where a fair portion of reader disappointment with Harry's more subdued take on heroics comes from, but he is an eleven-year-old who eventually becomes a seventeen-year-old over the course of the story, contending with a villain who has fifty-plus-year lead on experience over him. I think I would have raised an eyebrow had Harry ever bested Voldemort in a straight-up magical fight.

A date for the next Illustrated Edition has yet to be announced, but do sign up to our newsletter here to hear the latest news.

About the contributors

I've seen all the movies now, after reading the books. The movies were just fine, but the books are so much better. If you've seen the movies and liked them but didn't read the books, you're missing SO much amazing content that truly makes the Wizarding World as magical as it is. J.K. Rowling has received many awards and honours for her writing. She also supports a number of causes through her charitable trust Volant and is the founder of the children’s charity Lumos. For as long as she can remember, J.K. Rowling has wanted to be a writer, and is at her happiest in a room, making things up. She lives in Scotland with her family. When Bloomsbury Children’s Books published the first Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2015, readers were instantly mesmerised by Kay’s magical and rich evocation of the Boy Who Lived. J.K. Rowling said at the time, ‘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.’ The series established itself as an acclaimed international hit, with fans eagerly awaiting each new instalment.

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