Riddell to illustrate Rowling's 'Beedle the Bard'

Riddell to illustrate Rowling's 'Beedle the Bard'

Chris Riddell will illustrate J K Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Bloomsbury), in a new edition to be sold next year in aid of her charity Lumos.

The “Wizarding World classic” will be “gloriously reimagined in a large colour gift edition” by the former children’s laureate, and will be published on 2nd October 2018, at £25.

Riddell will combine his signature watercolour with line and tonal illustrations, “capturing the spirit of J K Rowling’s ingenious text with his trademark wit and elegance”.

He described the experience as “an immense honour and incredibly exciting” and revealed the “true joy” was exploring Dumbledore's footnotes.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard is first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Bloomsbury), the final novel the Harry Potter series, when Albus Dumbledore leaves a copy of the “fairy tales” to Hermione Granger. The book, featuring five stories, was first published in 2008.

Riddell said: “These fairy tales are vivid and beautifully crafted and will resonate in the sumptuous format Bloomsbury have given me. But the true joy has been to discover the richness and texture of Dumbledore's footnotes. I can't wait to pull on my robes and begin my tenure as a supply teacher at Hogwarts.”

Rebecca McNally, children’s publishing director, praised Riddell’s “once-in-a-lifetime talent”. She said: “It takes extraordinary skill and imagination to illustrate J K Rowling’s highly inventive and original book, which has both wonderful, classic-feeling fairy tales and the inimitable, witty and subversive notes of Albus Dumbledore.”

Chicken House m.d. Barry Cunningham, who acquired the manuscript for J K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, sold his unique edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard at Sotheby’s last year.

It is published in aid of Lumos, Rowling’s international children’s charity, which works to improve the lives of disadvantaged children around the world.