Important question: What does “full color” mean in this context?

As you have probably heard by now, Jim Kay has been commissioned to give the Harry Potter books “a full colour makeover in a complete set of new editions.” The team that decided who would do this included J. K. Rowling, and Jim Kay is the brilliant genius who illustrated A Monster Calls. Below is his rendering of Hogwarts.


Look, I know. How cool is that tunnel-staircase-pathway-thing that terminates in a creature mouth?

My question now for the illustrated Harry Potter people is, What does full color mean exactly? I am so excited by the idea that it might mean a whole bunch of color plates that my heart speeds up when I think about it. England, would you be so kind as to announce this news again? This time with details? GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT, ENGLAND. The people want to know are there color plates and if so how many. The people want to know this urgently. The people feel like if there are, say, between six and ten color plates in each book, they will probably buy copies of them all, even though they have copies of the Harry Potter books with which they are perfectly satisfied. By the way, the people are not trying to tell England its business but do feel that there should be a silhouettey sort of picture of Neville just having done what the people shall here call Neville’s heroic hat trick in an effort to avoid spoilers while also conveying the necessary information to their readers.

(The people also hope that the bindings are sturdy because the people’s original copies of the Harry Potter books have not proved as hardy as the people had hoped when they bought them over the years. But the people do not want to draw England’s attention away from the main question about the color plates. The people hope England understands that the color plates are the question of true importance here.)

Edit to add: My question has been answered. It does mean “a whole bunch of color plates,” as well as small subsidiary illustrations adorning the book margins, and it also apparently means a gorgeous fold-out illustration of Diagon Alley. YAY.

  • 😀 Yes, yes, the people demand answers!

    I’ve been meaning to get myself a new HP set for ages, but now I’m happy to wait another year and a bit for these.


    Ahem, yes. This does indeed look lovely, and the people are eagerly awaiting the answers. Maybe if you checked JK Rowling’s website? Maybe if you pretended to be twelve and sent her a charmingly misspelled and blotted letter?

  • So Jim Kay is giving the series a new makeover even though Kazu Kibuishi just did the outside covers? I wonder who’s going to be commissioned next?

  • This person thanks you for speaking for the people. I was at the bookstore last week and almost impulse bought the Kibuishi cover editions but decided they would become a gift for my first born child (because let’s be real, that kids not getting its sticky hands on my set….uh….I mean every child deserves their own set. Yeah) and now I’m either going to have to decide between which edition to buy or have more than one kid. A little more info from England would go a long way in difficult decisions.

  • aartichapati


  • If there are many color plates, I will totally buy these books and shelve them in a beautiful, prominent place in my house. Gah, that’d be so amazing.

  • The people! England! Listen to the people!

  • Do you hear the people ask? Asking the questions of everyman?

  • Hmm they could just remake the art on these forever! I hadn’t heard, but interesting!

  • The people may need to buy them even if they already have two complete (one British and one American) sets!

  • Jenny


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  • Athira

    Much as I love the Harry Potter series and would reread them for the rest of my life, I wish they would put HP to rest. That said, I cannot wait to see what they mean by full color and would love to buy this set. Double standards, I know. 🙂

  • How I wish I could help you out. I feel sort of honor bound to answer for my country but no one’s given me the details. But the picture you show is gorgeous, so I can understand the urgency of the question!

  • I want a new set of Harry Potter books just so they can sit on my shelves and look pretty. By the way, have you ever listened to the Harry Potter books on audio? Because I’m FINALLY doing that now and they are so good. I sat my desk close to tears listening to the ending of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Ugh! All of the emotions but how I love these books!

    • I had designs of buying the UK audiobooks when I happened to be in England last summer and… I forgot. Now I have to go back. I would love to listen to these someday.