NEW YORK, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Paperback editions of the "Harry Potter" bestsellers featuring new cover art are to be released in September, U.S. publisher Scholastic announced.
The new versions of the fantasy books are to hit shelves in time for the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of the first book in the seven-novel series, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."
"The brilliant artist Kazu Kibuishi offers his unique vision of the world of Harry Potter, making each cover an incredible adventure that will transport new readers just discovering Harry Potter for the first time directly into the rich world of J.K. Rowling's imagination," Ellie Berger, president of Scholastic Trade Publishing, said in a statement Wednesday.
"The Harry Potter covers by Mary GrandPre are so fantastic and iconic," Kibuishi said. "When I was asked to submit samples, I initially hesitated because I didn't want to see them 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."
GrandPre's original covers will continue to be featured on the U.S. hardcover and digest paperback editions of the books.
Scholastic also announced it will release in November the first boxed set of the complete Hogwarts Library in the United States, including "Quidditch Through the Ages," "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "The Tales of Beedle the Bard."