Bloomsbury Children’s Books is proud to present The Harry Potter Wizarding Almanac, a rich and colourful new tome for the whole family to dig deeper into the wizarding world. You can pre-order here.
Published by Bloomsbury in the UK and Scholastic in the US in October 2023, this visual compendium is richly illustrated and packed with all sorts of magical tidbits about the Harry Potter stories – some you may know, some you may not, all wrapped up in gorgeous new illustrations by seven talented artists: Peter Goes, Louise Lockhart, Weitong Mai, Olia Muza, Pham Quang Phuc, Levi Pinfold and Tomislav Tomić.
You can expect to see charts, maps, lists, timelines, handy guides, favourite quotes, cheerful infographics and much more in this celebration of J.K. Rowling’s epic book series. And even we, as your Wizarding World experts, learnt a few new nuggets as well!
Here are seven fantastic pages of the book for you to take a sneak peek at.
The wizarding world is a visual spectacle – and this book celebrates every little detail of it with love and care; like this page, (drawn by Louise Lockhart) which illustrates some of our favourite character outfits. Enjoy new interpretations of these memorable wizarding fashion moments, from Mrs Weasley’s jumpers to Dobby’s socks. Of course, everyone has a different aesthetic, especially Rubeus Hagrid and his go-to outfit for smart occasions – his brown, hairy suit.
Beyond clothes, other pages of the book will take you to the Hogwarts library to study book titles, an unruly collection of household pests reveals some of the magical nuisances of the wizarding world, and ‘Fantastic Treats and Where to Find Them’ may make you hungry, mapping out a dedicated spread of magical foods!
Oh, to be able to casually tap on a seemingly innocuous brick wall and find yourself in Diagon Alley. Well, the Almanac will do its best to take you there, and even invite you inside some of the most beloved shops. Here, we see a delightfully pink layout (as put together by Olia Muza) of Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Fred and George’s larger-than-life joke shop. Some of their most eccentric creations are displayed here, such as their mischievous Decoy Detonators and a colourful array of Skiving Snackboxes.
This is just one shop window we happen to be peering into. The rest of the book invites you to other locations, such as Gringotts, the Ministry of Magic, Grimmauld Place, The Burrow and, of course, Hogwarts itself. Merlin knows how they’re going to fit that big old castle into this book, but we’re sure an Extension Charm or two will help...
We all get a little lost sometimes, and in the wizarding world, even more so than usual. Thankfully, the Almanac is here to help, and takes us on a few ‘unguided tours’ of key locations across the stories. Above, the Almanac artist Peter Goes has – rather brilliantly – made sense of the chaos that is Hogwarts castle, detailing its many floors and secret passages in this pièce de résistance.
Take a good look at this page to discover the locations of certain towers and rooms, a meticulous depiction of every Hogwarts floor (catch Fluffy on the third, obviously) and even where specific paintings and statues are, such as Lachlan the Lanky and the Fat Lady’s drinking buddy, Violet. You can even find the vanishing step, where Harry once got trapped sneaking around Hogwarts after dark, and the amount of time it takes to get to certain areas (about ten minutes from the Entrance Hall to the North Tower, apparently!).
The little illustrative moments will also make you smile, especially if you catch the reference. For instance, the little painting of a bowl of fruit is particularly special (Tickle the pear! If you know, you know!) and the Barnabas the Barmy tapestry is a reference to the bizarre tale of a wizard who once tried to teach trolls ballet. See what else you can find!
We won’t blame you if you need to pore over this page for hours and hours.
You think you know absolutely everything about Harry Potter – and then boom – someone asks you what wand core Remus Lupin has. Yes, life comes at you fast. (And it’s a unicorn hair, if you wanted to know.) Fortunately, the Almanac has you covered, and can provide all sorts of fascinating specifics to make you the toast of your next Harry Potter party. Take this page, for instance, illustrated by Weitong Mai, which examines the wand cores of key characters from the Harry Potter stories, straight from the records of Mr Ollivander. Are there any cores here you didn’t know?
Comb back through some of your favourite scenes from the Harry Potter stories with these comprehensive timelines – including the ending of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’s famous Time-Turner sequence, illustrated by Tomislav Tomić. Time travel is always quite complicated, where even the slightest amendment can change the course of history, so we are grateful for this log of events to remember exactly how Harry and Hermione saved the day. Just think, if Hagrid’s milk jug hadn’t smashed … it could’ve been a different ending for lovely Buckbeak.
You’ll also be able to navigate other trails of wizarding history – for example, you can examine every Hogwarts house point won and lost by Harry, Ron and Hermione in their first year, learn about the creation of Dumbledore’s Army and embark upon a potted history of Quidditch Through the Ages.
Don’t turn the pages of the Almanac too quickly, for there are little easter eggs and miniature surprises to be found all over the book. Look out for hidden Horcruxes, constellations and Deathly Hallows, as you expand your wizarding education. Even the designs of certain pages contain multitudes – this character quotes spread, by Pham Quang Phuc, is designed to look like Dumbledore’s golden pocket watch, embossed with planets. Remember when we first saw it in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? Yes, we also needed to remind ourselves!
Seven incredibly talented artists from across the globe contributed to this book, including some Harry Potter illustrator favourites in the form of Levi Pinfold and Tomislav Tomić, whose work you may recognise from the Hogwarts House Editions and Hogwarts Library editions respectively.
Each artist brings their own extraordinary creative vision to J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. Just take a look at this ethereal celebration of the Patronus, as beautifully illustrated by Levi Pinfold, and learn about some of your favourite characters’ animal guardians.
And to think, this is just a small preview of what is to come. We hope you are as excited about this treasure trove of wizarding delights as we are.
The Harry Potter Wizarding Almanac will be released on 10th October, 2023 in hardback. The book will also be published worldwide across 34 languages in translation, which are as follows:
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