The book features artwork by Jemima Catlin, and is the first illustrated edition to be published since 1997. It’s been a while but this book sure makes up for the time.
Jemima is an artist from Dorchester, Dorset and was discovered by HarperCollins’ publisher, David Brawn, when she sent him a Tolkien inspired project she created for her illustration degree course.
Her artwork is a combination of pencil, ink and watercolor and she begins each illustration by drawing in a sketchbook balanced on her knees. She drew inspiration from local mythology, classic fairy tales and Tolkien’s own illustrations. You can read more about Jemima in an interview I did with her here.
The book gets released in the US in the beginning of October, but I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced copy. As soon as I took it out of the package I fell in love. I quickly flipped through the pages to see all the illustrations and was pleasantly surprised at how many there were. There’s artwork on almost every page… 150 colored illustrations! I can easily imagine children opening this edition of The Hobbit and becoming Tolkien fans for life. The style of Jemima’s work fits so well with this story, giving it a “quirky and whimsical” feel that quickly transports me to Middle-earth.
Thank you and congratulations, Jemima! This is a book any Tolkien fan would be proud to own.
After looking at the book some more, I suddenly have the urge to make a cup of warm tea, find a nice comfortable place outside in the sun and read.