By Geoff Boucher
Updated January 25, 2013 at 08:05 PM EST
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Credit: Credit: Simon & Schuster

Image Credit: Simon & Schuster[/caption]

In May 2003, a new name in magical adventure arrived on the young-reader bookshelf: The Spiderwick Chronicles, which gave us the tale of the brave Grace brood (twins Simon and Jared, along with their big sister, Mallory), their missing father and a coveted one-of-a-kind tome that reveals the secret magic all around us. More books followed, as did a feature film adpatation and video game, both released in February 2008. The tenth anniversary of Spiderwick release is being marked by Simon and Schuster’s reissues of the books with new covers by Tony DiTerlizzi. We’ve got the first look at those covers below and a quick Q&A with Terlizzi, whose work also includes The Search for WondLa and The Spider and the Fly.

ENTERTAINTMENT WEEKLY: Go back to the beginning, how did you conjure up the ideas for Spiderwick?

TONY DITERLIZZI: Back in 2003, Holly Black and I created a series of children’s chapter books that revolved around three siblings who have adventures in the fantastical world of fairy. The impetus for these stories was a project I had been developing off and on for nearly a decade: a field guide (in the vein of John-James Audubon’s work) that cataloged dragons, trolls and goblins. The result was The Spiderwick Chronicles

NEXT: Book 2

Credit: Simon & Schuster[/caption]

EW: How did you approach these anniversary covers?

TD: The idea is to celebrate a decade of Spiderwick success and I’ve designed new covers for a new generation of readers. The original books were designed with a nod to classic children’s books of the past. Rich jewel tones dominated the books while a central iconic image focused on one of the heroes in the story. This worked great for the first editions, because the trim size of each book was quite small. The new hardcover editions are larger, allowing more room for more visuals.

NEXT: Book 3

Credit: Simon & Schuster[/caption]

EW: Did you know right away the design approach, or was it a bit of process to get there?

TD: With the folks at Simon & Schuster, I explored several design options including a minimalistic graphic approach and a version featuring just the fantastic creatures; however, both takes seemed limited. They either did not capture the scope of the story or the classic fairy tale “vibe”, which had served as inspiration. I searched outside of the book world for design ideas. I checked out the latest comic books, video games and movies — all aimed at our reading audience of 6-10 years old. When I saw the collage-styled imagery that adorned family genre DVDs, I knew I was onto something. After all, the size of a DVD case is about the same as the books.

NEXT: Book 4

Credit: Simon & Schuster[/caption]

EW: And then as far as the actual images, the content and the characters? And executing the artwork?

TD: With a design direction in mind, I began sketching the elements that were the essence of each story: The heroic Grace kids, the Spiderwick Estate, Thimbletack the house brownie and Mulgarath the villainous ogre. Because there were so many interlocking parts to each cover image, I realized it would be best to assemble the covers digitally. The problem was, I still wanted the jacket art to tie into the interior illustrations, which had all been done with old-fashioned dip pens. I solved this dilemma by combining a traditional pen (and ink-wash) drawing with digital coloring in Photoshop. The result is a hybrid of both styles, which I hope will speak to the fourth grade reader of today.

NEXT: Book 5

Credit: Simon & Schuster[/caption]

The anniversary books arrive at stores in May.

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