“We’re casting a Banishing Charm on boredom!” declares Wizarding World, the online hub for fans of “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts.” That sounds hugely appealing for anyone — of any age — who could do with a bit of magic in their current locked-down life.
And in April, Wizarding World spun out a new boredom-banishing project as an extension of its Harry Potter online community: Harry Potter at Home.
Parents, teachers and carers working to keep children amused and interested while we’re on lockdown might need a bit of magic, so I’m delighted to launch https://t.co/cPg0dZpexB pic.twitter.com/i0ZjTplVoU
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 1, 2020
So far, the most exciting part of the ongoing Harry Potter at Home project is the celebrity reading of the first book, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (known in the U.S. as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”).
And who better to read the first chapter but Daniel Radcliffe, the boy wizard himself? You can watch Radcliffe’s introduction to the wonderful world of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Hogwarts on Wizarding World now, and if you want an audio-only version, Spotify will release a new chapter of the book weekly on its channels (regular Spotify and Spotify Kids).
Plenty of other well-known voices will be reading the first book in Rowling’s hit series, and this Instagram video from the Wizarding World provides a glimpse of these famous fans of the boy who lived.
Some of these stars who are lending their voices include actor Stephen Fry (who narrated all 11 “Harry Potter” audio books), “Twilight” and “Ocean’s 8” star Dakota Fanning, Claudia Kim (Nagini in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”), Noma Dumezweni (who played grown-up Hermione Granger in the West End play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”), Eddie Redmayne (who plays Newt Scamander in the “Fantastic Beasts” movie series, of course) and soccer star David Beckham.
Diehard Potterheads will know that there are 17 chapters in total, but don’t worry — we’re promised “more surprises and special appearances from across the Wizarding World and beyond to come.”
Harry Potter at Home also offers video tutorials of how to draw characters from the series, along with word searches, crossword puzzles and interactive quizzes for all levels of readers. So, make yourself some Butterbeer cookies and let the magic take your mind off everything else that’s going on right now.