New Potter Cover Art Coming

You may have heard this news already but I thought it worth posting and thinking about. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of the start of the Harry Potter series, Scholastic, the U.S. publisher, will release all seven books with new cover art. Kazu Kibuishi, a graphic novelist, will be doing the new artwork. This will only be on the trade paperback editions. The artwork of Mary GrandPre, who did the original U.S. covers, will still appear on the hardback and digest paperback editions. Scholastic will also release the boxed set of the “school” books, namely Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

As to why Scholastic is releasing the books with new artwork, Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade Publishing says, “In the last year, we’d been thinking of how to make Harry Potter accessible and relevant to a new audience of eight- and nine-year-olds…We started the Harry Potter Book Club as a way to bring kids, some of whom maybe only knew the movies, back to the books, and introduce this wonderful world to them. Mary’s covers are so iconic to all of us, and they will remain on the U.S. hardcover and digest paperback editions. But we were trying to figure out a new look, with new appeal, and with the 15th anniversary coming up, it seemed like a good idea to hook into that.”

And, she might have said, to continue to cash in on the Harry Potter phenomenon. 🙂 Nothing wrong with that, though. Scholastic is, after all, in the business to make money. Anyway, you can find the image of the new cover of Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone here.

So, what do you think of the new artwork? What about Ms. Berger’s stated reasons for it? Think it will get new readers into Harry Potter? Will you, if you have a full set of books already, still buy the new versions just for the artwork? Feel free to share all your thoughts here.

One last thought: 15 years since Potter started, Wow! I didn’t start reading the books until 2005, around the tender age of 39, and I didn’t get involved in the fandom until around 2006-2007. As a quick poll, who was reading the books from the very beginning? Thanks for sharing!


6 thoughts on “New Potter Cover Art Coming

  1. I do like the new artwork. the one photo you linked to has echoes of the movies which will probably draw the kids in. I have a mixed set of hardback and paperback books which are in many sections after being read so much. The up side to that is for a heavier book like DH I only have to carry around a section of 2-3 chapters! Having just acquired a lovely British set for my birthday I don’t know if I will spring for these…..maybe for the next birthday?

    I was very uncertain of these books at first. My parents got SS for my children when it came out – we decided I would read each one out loud first to them before they could read it by themselves. I stuck to that through the DH and when they were fully grown. It was hard getting us all together at one time, but we did it. I was 35 as well when we started, and didn’t get into the fandom part of it till I learned of John Granger, around 2010. It’s been a wonderful journey. Thank you for all you guys do on this particular site!

  2. I think the new cover is beautiful, whatever the motivation (and motivation doesn’t bother me, if it gets kids to read the books). I look forward to seeing the rest of the artwork planned by this artist.

    That said, I won’t buy new copies for the covers. I do think this new cover may be more enticing to younger readers than the GrandPre cover.

  3. I agree with all Arabella said. These covers are lovely, and the artist’s work on the Amulet series is wonderful. I won’t be buying these new covers just yet. I’ve been reading HP since the age of 10 or 11 and I honestly still get a magical feeling just looking at the GrandPre covers. I hope that new readers will feel the same 15 years down the road 🙂

  4. First impressions.

    Bit more of a mysterious, spooky feeling to this cover, with the tottering Victorian tenement look, all but blocking off the night sky. I’ve always been a sucker for cobblestones and roof tiles and fog.

    It also keeps the child friendly cute look with the costumes of the wizards and witches. Who are all very short and non-menacing. Ditto Hagrid who looks a lot like he’s dressed up for a Druidical take on Father Christmas, fake beard and all.

  5. I like it ok. I appreciate when an artist covers the entire page. Gives alot to look at. Although if the face of the main character is too cartoonish, then I don’t like it. I’d almost rather just see a relevant scene than any characters faces. If I was choosing, it would be a shot of Hogwarts. Regarding the GrandPre covers…I always cringed over Harry’s face until DH. I love that cover. I really do. Such an iconic shot of Harry holding out his arms, but only knowing after reading that it’s because he is about to catch the Elder Wand. Plus the fiery gold/red background. I love it.

  6. The new cover is OK – it looks like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal in Orlando – which looks like the movie. That’s not a bad thing, I guess, if that’s what it takes to get kids to read the books. But I love the Mary Grand Pre covers, some more than others. (Deathly Hallows is my favorite as well.)

    I started reading in 1999 after the third book was published in the US. I read an article in the Seattle Times about parents who wanted to ban the books, so even though my kids were in college and high school, I knew I had to read the books for myself. I was so enchanted by the first one that I bought the second and third right away. I talked my youngest, who was still at home, into reading the books and then we discussed them endlessly while we waited for the fourth book. That was all before the movies and the websites, so we just had each other and random strangers I ran into in the book store who were buying or reading a Harry Potter book.

    I won’t buy the new covers. I already have the hardbacks, paperbacks, two from the UK, the audio books with the UK covers. It really is enough. My husband would probably faint if I said I wanted to buy more Harry Potter books. Oh, I did buy the one for SS that came out for the 10th anniversary that has new art work from Grand Pre. (And I have the whole set as e-books, so I’ve really spent enough. 😉 )

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