Now, don’t get your howler stationary out just yet. Kazu Kibuishi‘s lovely illustrations aren’t going to be replacing Mary GrandPré‘s iconic dust jackets on the US hardcover editions of the Harry Potter books. They’re going on the 15th anniversary paperbacks, which will begin their release with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone this fall. Which I note is still going to be called “Sorcerer” and not “Philosopher” because sigh.
Said Kibuishi of the opportunity to illustrate Harry Potter:
When I was asked to submit samples, I initially hesitated because I didn’t want to see [Mary GrandPré's art] reinterpreted! However, I felt that if I were to handle the project, I could bring something to it that many other designers and illustrators probably couldn’t, and that was that I was also a writer of my own series of middle grade fiction. As an author myself, I tried to answer the question, ‘If I were the author of the books – and they were like my own children – how would I want them to be seen years from now?’ When illustrating the covers, I tried to think of classic perennial paperback editions of famous novels and how those illustrations tend to feel. In a way, the project became a tribute to both Harry Potter and the literary classics.
If you like the art, you’ll have to wait until September to pick up any books with it. If you don’t, well, you’ve got until September to pick up copies of the books without it. I definitely look forward to seeing Kibuishi’s art in the hands of folks on the subway, but I’m glad Scholastic is keeping the hardcovers intact. (Click the picture for higher resolution.)