Beloved children’s book artists, from Jonny Duddle to Jim Kay, have joined forces to draw their own interpretations of a Patronus to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The campaign, Patronus on a Postcard, will see all 26 illustrations raise money for the charity BookTrust; the programme that helps children develop their love of reading all across the UK.
And if you need to remind yourself how exactly Patronuses work in the wizarding world, check out our handy guide.
So, what do we have? And did certain Patronuses call out to certain artists?
Jim Field, known for his bestselling picture book ‘Oi Frog’ has... drawn a rhinoceros? Well, that was a twist.
‘I chose to draw the rhinoceros because I love the shape of this great animal. It looks like a mythical creature,’ he explained.
Another fun fact for you: an otter is also Hermione's Patronus!
Jim Kay, who is currently working his way through the seven illustrated Harry Potter books, took the most classic Patronus image for his postcard: the stag, Harry’s Patronus, mirroring his father’s.
‘Working on a postcard sized illustration is a refreshing change for me, usually I work A2 or bigger (failing eyesight!). I painted the illustration under a magnifying lens, using pigments actually designed for model kits, but they are lovely to use being such fine paints with lovely opacity. The background is inspired by William Morris. I painted the reverse too, I sometimes hand paint the stamps on letters to people.’
Prolific author/illustrator Steven Lenton has tackled everything from great rocket robberies to runaway robots, but on this occasion he’s erred towards something ever so slightly less-fantastical: a mole.
‘I had never designed a mole character before so this was the perfect Patronus for me to create. I love the idea of a small and cute Patronus, which I usually associate with a grander more elaborate type of creature! This was a daunting but really fun project and I hope we all help to raise lots of money for Booktrust!’
Illustrator and author, James Mayhew, is the mastermind behind the Ella Bella Ballerina series and the ‘Katie’ activity books. On picking a husky for his postcard, James said, ‘I recently re-connected with a long lost friend, and it turns out she keeps huskies, so these fascinating, curious animals were much on my mind. I think if I could conjure a Patronus, I'd like nothing better than Man's Best Friend - but with a bit of wild wolf about him!’
British-American illustrator and writer Sarah McIntyre is no stranger to recreating weird and wonderful animals, and on this occasion, chose a dragon Patronus. Well, it’d certainly scare those Dementors away, no problem.
‘I chose a dragon because, well, dragons are cool!’ she said. ‘I enjoyed doing a bit of a mashup between drawing the kind of dragon you might see on a Welsh flag with one you might see on a Chinese urn. They’re both magic.’
Fun fact: a doe was Lily Potter's Patronus, which complimented her husband's.
Chris, who recently illustrated The Tales of Beedle the Bard drew this adorable dog for his Patronus. Did you know that a Jack Russell Terrier is also Ron's Patronus?
Award-winning illustrator Steve Antony chose a bear for his piece. Why?
‘In my mind, bears are strong and wise. They're also soft and huggable. I can call on my Patronus for advice, protection and/or big bear hugs.’
Rob Biddulph the official World Book Day Illustrator for 2019 and 2020, has picked a cheetah for his Patronus.
‘I like to think that upon hearing my cry of "Expecto Patronum" the creature that would leap athletically from the tip of my wand would be nature's great sprinting machine, the cheetah. It would then run rapid rings around any unwelcome Dementors, before gracefully bounding back from whence it came. I suspect, however, that my actual Patronus would more likely be a member of the woodlouse family. But a) I don't want to admit that, publicly, and b) it's not as much fun to draw.’
Jonny Duddle already has a relationship with the wizarding world, reimagining Bloomsbury’s Harry Potter covers back in 2014. On drawing the phoenix, Jonny said: ‘I live in North Wales and walk the hills with my dog, Mabel, for exercise and inspiration. There are buzzards and kites, sparrow hawks, owls and kestrels. They always stop me in my tracks. I’ve been fascinated by raptors since childhood, so a Phoenix Patronus was a brilliant challenge.’
Tom Percival, creator of the Little Legends series, drew a Patronus monkey, saying: ‘If I could conjure up a magical animal to help me out in times of need it would have to be a monkey, because most of my problems would be easily solved by having car aerials and windscreen wipers pulled off in safari parks. Wait... that would be no help at all! I didn’t really think this through, can I draw a tiger instead?’
So, there you have it. If you fancy bidding on any of the incredible Patronus interpretations, go to the Booktrust website from 6pm, BST on 8 July. Closing date is 18 July, so take a look when you can. It all goes to a great cause.
For more information on Bloomsbury’s celebrations for the 20th anniversary of Prisoner of Azkaban, check out the official website.
Which Patronus calls to you?