An exciting announcement for the Harry Potter fans among us (I think there might be a few): a new book out this fall will give you an insider's look at Hogwarts Castle. From the Great Hall and the library to the Quidditch Pitch and Forbidden Forest, the rooms and grounds of the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry hold many secrets. Well, buckle up, Muggles. Answers will be revealed for the first time in the upcoming release of Harry Potter: Exploring Hogwarts: An Illustrated Guide. Beautifully illustrated by Studio Muti, a creative studio based in Cape Town, South Africa, Harry Potter: Exploring Hogwarts is the ultimate campus tour for any avid fan who ever dreamed of enrolling at Hogwarts Castle.
Within the pages of this guide, you'll be able to relive iconic movie moments in locations including the Gryffindor Common Room, the Forbidden Forest, and the Room of Requirement. By lifting flaps, you'll discover little-known details, like the fact that The Great Hall’s ceiling depicts daylight only once, and when the Weasley twins set off fireworks during fifth-year O.W.L. exams. For the scene when Harry returns to the Room of Requirement to locate the Ravenclaw Diadem, did you know that the set contained a mountain of furniture and props from all the films? And there's more: the 500 jars in Slughorn’s Potions classroom contain tufts of hair, ginger roots, baked animal bones, dried herbs, rubber lizard tails, and tiny plastic animals from the London Zoo. The 18 desks in the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom were replaced with bigger versions as the actors grew. I could go on, but who wants to give it all away? So many fun discoveries.
You can pre-order the book, as the official release date is Oct. 8, 2019, making it perfect timing for the holiday season. I am trying to keep this news a secret, actually, because this book and its release date will be circled in red on the calendar and a topic of daily conversation once my daughters find out about it. You see, Harry Potter is kind of a deal at our house. My older daughter has read (and re-read) the entire series and my younger daughter is currently reading it with her dad. We've seen all the movies, been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, dressed up as Hermione and Harry on Halloween (twice) and bought various Harry Potter merchandise over the years. We have not yet seen the Broadway show, but I'm confident we'll get to it eventually. Suffice it to say, there are VIP fan club members living in my apartment. Further cementing the deal? When J.K. Rowling responded to a tweet I posted, answering questions my daughter had written to her in a fan letter, it blew our minds. (And still kind of does, actually.)
I'm so impressed with all this book has to offer in its vivid illustrations, and I know my daughters will be as well. Filled to the brim with fascinating facts, memorable moments, behind-the-scenes secrets and detailed illustrations, Harry Potter: Exploring Hogwarts is going to be a great addition to any Harry Potter lover's collection, particularly if you are a fan of the films.
With recent news of J.K. Rowling no longer a billionaire due in part to her charitable giving, all I can say is long live Harry Potter. As a writer myself, I'm so impressed by her work and the staying power of this iconic character. One little idea blossomed into a volume of work that has spread to movies, theme parks, Broadways shows and so much more — how amazing is that? Speaking of which, Harry Potter: Exploring Hogwarts is the first in a series of large-scale interactive books that will explore the iconic locations from the films of the Wizarding World. I am so looking forward to the release this fall.