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I was just looking at this dust cover of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition) and noticed this creature. My first guess as to what it was was a Bowtruckle but Bowtruckles aren't that big.

Maximum of eight inches in height, made of bark and twigs with two small

Bowtruckles-Pottermore

So if anyone could help me out that would be great!

Image of the dust cover showing the creature circled

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It is a reference to A Monster Calls, which Jim Kay also worked on and illustrated. It is apparently "a sort of Green Man".

In short it is a Green Man which was a reference to Jim Kay's work on A Monster Calls. See the bottom half of my answer for an email I received from him that this is the case.

The creature on the front cover of A Monster Calls does also look a lot similar to the one on the dust cover.

A Monster Calls front cover

I haven’t actually read or seen this either but Jim Kay also worked on the film and again the creature in the film is very similar.

A Monster Calls film still showing a similar creature


I emailed Jim Kay from his contact form on Creepy Scrawlers Ltd and this is the response I got.

Hello,

I've just noticed this creature on the Dust Cover of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition).

https://i.stack.imgur.com/44eE6.jpg

I've also seen that apparently it was revealed at some point what it was (potentially in The Prisoner of Azkaban illustrated edition but I can't see if it is).

Have you revealed what it is and if so what is it?

It's a sort of Green Man, I illustrated A Monster Calls, which kind of changed my life really. Wouldn't be illustrating today if it wasn't for that book by Patrick Ness. I worked on the film too. It was just a little nod to that really.

There are other things people haven't noticed yet. On the Chocolate bar wrapper in the chapter opener inside Prisoner of Azkaban, there is a black dog hidden among the hares. Best Wishes

J

Screenshot of the quoted email above

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I hate making this an answer rather than a comment, but I can't post the image in a comment. I reached out to artist Jim Kay and asked him directly - he responded that the answer is revealed in the third book. Anyone w/ that book feel free to answer and I'll toast this post

Screenshot of conversation

[...] creature hidden in the trees behind the Weasley's Quidditch pitch is meant to be. It appears to be a humanoid of some sort, like an Ent or something and was just curious. Thank you!

Neat time i revealed.

Ah interesting! Thanks!

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    "Next time i revealed"? – Valorum Sep 16 '18 at 16:00
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    @Valorum - shrug the man is a painter, not a writer :) – NKCampbell Sep 16 '18 at 21:58
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    There doesn't appear to be anything in the book that resembles this image aside from 'Dumbledore with a phoenix on his head'; youtube.com/watch?v=Iw6l3jW99z0 – Valorum Sep 16 '18 at 22:29
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    @NKCampbell I reached out to him and apparently it is just a reference to A Monster Calls. See my answer. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 18 at 12:19
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It resembles the Bloomsbury logo

This may be an "Easter egg" regarding the publisher of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Illustrated Edition).

The Bloomsbury Publishing logo — seen in the bottom right corner of the cover — features a humanoid archer with antlers:

Bloomsbury logo

Image source

On the cover, the figure among the trees is similarly depicted as a silhouette, apparently with antlers.

Jim Kay, the book's artist, included a number of hidden details in his illustrations for the previous novel. While many of these details come from Harry Potter canon, the appearance in Diagon Alley of Kay's dog Leroy is whimsical, just as a hidden publisher's logo might be.

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