You heard it right… more new covers for the Harry Potter series are on the way! This time, it’s Bloomsbury, the original UK publisher will be working with artist Johnny Duddle to create brand new children’s covers for the series, so that the magic can be passed on to a new generation. So just who is this Johnny Duddle?
Jonny Duddle is best known for his award-winning picture books, including The Pirate Cruncher and The Pirates Next Door (winner of the Waterstones Children’s Prize and shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize). He has a background in the computer games industry and is highly skilled at character development. His work has appeared in Aardman films and Terry Pratchett novels.
Not too shabby if you ask me. The new editions will feature completely new front, back and spine artwork. The inside will be totally redone too, with the type being reset for the ease of children. J.K. Rowling will also received an updated bio, and most interestingly some Pottermore content will be highlighted within the books, with a new additional section telling kids how they can use Pottermore at the back of the books. Pottermore is, naturally, publishing all of the ebook versions.
Mr. Duddle is, as you can expect, entirely thrilled with this development: “I’m hugely excited to work my way through the wonderful books. I couldn’t have asked for more enjoyable subject matter. It’s exciting, daunting and I feel the weight of responsibility, and I’m just hoping that my illustrations faithfully reflect the characters and world created by J.K.Rowling.” That last bit is certainly more than Mary GrandPre can say (anyone remember Snape with a gigantic moustache as chapter art?), so I’m personally glad he’s taking the commitment seriously.
Most recently, the Scholastic American editions received new covers courtesy of Kazu Kibuishi which took our breath away. These covers, as you can see, are cute, but not quite dazzling on the same scale. That’s fine, because these covers are designed to attract younger readers to begin their own journey with Harry Potter, and here’s hoping they work! You can click the image below to view a hi-res version of the full first cover for Philosopher’s Stone as illustrated by Johnny Duddle, because yes, it’s still called that in the civilized parts of the world.
All seven new covers will be published simultaneously on September 1st, 2014. Just in time for a new generation to take the train to Hogwarts.