Emily Baines
April 30, 2016 6:46 pm
Warner Brothers Pictures

Most of us Potterheads all have at least one thing in common: We keep our copies (usually hardcover) of the  Harry Potter series in a special place on our bookshelves. Well, we suggest opening up one of the copies immediately to remind yourself just how amazing the artwork at the start of each chapter truly is.

In the Scholastic United States versions, the chapter illustrations and covers were illustrated by Caldecott honoree Mary Grandpré. All are amazingly detailed and lively. Yet, on closer inspection it becomes clear that Grandpré, like author J.K. Rowling, had a progression in mind for the Harry Potter series. As this infographic shows, the illustrations become darker as Harry grows older, which makes sense considering the increasing darkness Harry must wade through as his story progresses. (Remember Cedric Diggory, anyone?)

In an interview with Scholastic, Grandpré said of her process:

We think she captures the atmosphere perfectly. As our friends at Bustle commented:

None of us will ever return to our childhood. But perhaps the next time we reread our Harry Potter, we will pay a bit more attention to the illustrations, and appreciate the lightness behind the earlier ones before it grows too late.

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