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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

There's An Apparate For That

State of the Union Address Left out the Bit Where We’re Getting New Harry Potter Cover Art

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.)

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  • Emma Hodgson

    I have to admit that I really don’t like the American cover art for the Harry Potter novels, so I think these shiny new covers are long overdue. The Australian/UK cover art is amazing though, and I wonder if they’ll re-design them for the 15th anniversary too?

  • Crusty Old Dean

    I dig these swedish ones myself…

  • sixteenthnote

    I WISH GrandPre’s art was replaced with this on the hardcovers. I always found the US versions horrendously ugly. And, since my copies are pretty sad-looking these days from how many times I’ve read the books, it’d be nice to have shiny new hardcovers that look nice. Alas! I guess paperback works too.

  • sixteenthnote

    Those are really nice!

  • Chris Talbot

    First let me say that I really like this art work. It looks good and depicts a scene I happen to really enjoy if only for the line, “Harry wished he had eight more pairs of eyes.” :-)

    Unfortunately, for someone who hasn’t read the books, there’s nothing intriguing about this picture. It looks like a scene from yet another fantasy story with medieval level of technology. There’s nothing in this picture that sets it apart from the rest.

    Ultimately, while I like the picture, I believe it fails at it’s basic job of making a book buyer want to look at this. YMMV, of course.

  • Craig Oxbrow

    Still not correcting the title though…

  • strand0410

    For some reason, I always assumed the Americans got the same covers we did with a quick Sorcerer/Philosopher substitution. But after googling, blech! I like this new cover and if the others retain the design, they’d be a step up.

  • Anonymous

    I love the American covers for the last 3 books, but I could take or
    leave the covers for the first 4, so I’m excited to see what these new
    covers look like.

  • Anonymous

    I love the American covers for the last 3 books, but I could take or
    leave the covers for the first 4.

  • Anonymous

    This is very nice but I I prefer GrandPre – Half-Blood Prince being my favorite.

  • Anonymous

    I understand your point, but Harry Potter isn’t just any old book series. It has enough PR. Kids are already interested in reading it or they’re not. The cover art looks like a lot is going on — it has an interesting, fantastical aesthetic and it’s interesting to look at, even if the scene itself is mundane for HP. The needs of a book like Harry Potter and a new series are totally different.