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Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban gets new cover

The US edition Harry Potter books are getting a make-over. Scholastic the global children’s publishing, education and media company, recently unveiled the new cover for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – the third of seven trade paperback editions with new covers illustrated by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, Kazu Kibuishi.

prisoner of azkaban new cover


The complete series of new books and a new boxed set will be available on August 27, 2013, as part of Scholastic’s celebration of the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the original book in J.K. Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter series.

Kazu Kibuishi is best known for his best-selling graphic novel series Amulet, and he suspects that it was his work as a writer that put him in contention for the design job. “At first I was really surprised that I was even asked to try out,” he said. “But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense for someone like me, an author for middle-grade readers, to introduce my readers to Harry Potter. That would be the next step in the progression for their reading comprehension.”

Kibuishi has designed new covers for the trade paperback editions of all seven books in the Harry Potter series—they’ll be released in September—but Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was the one that came easiest: “I knew exactly the moment that I had to depict. I felt it was the most important moment in the entire series.”

In each of the new cover illustrations, Kibuishi perfectly captures a pivotal moment from that particular book. For Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the artwork captures the triumphant moment when Harry uses his Firebolt broom to retrieve the golden dragon’s egg he needs to move forward in the Triwizard Tournament as the crowd cheers him on.

For anyone who has read Prisoner of Azkaban, the scene—a figure summons his patronus—could be considered a bit of a spoiler, but given the passage of time, and the appearance of the movie version in 2004, Kibuishi wasn’t too worried about giving anything away. “When you look at the cover, you don’t know who’s in the foreground and who’s in the background,” he says. “A lot of people already know, but I think a new reader will look at this and not feel that it was a spoiler. They would wonder what was going on.”

One thing he didn’t touch was the Harry Potter logo. It was created by David Saylor, the designer of the original Scholastic editions of the books. Saylor also hired Mary GrandPré to illustrate the covers (her illustrations will still appear on the hardcover and digest paperback editions of the series), so in many ways he defined the Harry Potter aesthetic in the United States. Saylor has since started Graphix, a Scholastic imprint for comics, which publishes Kibuishi’s Amulet series.

Fifteen years after the first U.S. publication of J.K. Rowling’s first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in September 1998, there are more than 150 million Harry Potter books in print in the United States alone and the series still hits bestseller lists regularly. The seven Harry Potter books are published in over 200 territories in 74 languages and have sold more than 450 million copies worldwide.

You can pre-order the complete boxed set of new Harry Potter books from Amazon US

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