I’ve just recently come back from holiday in Spain and France and I took the opportunity to have a nosy in a couple of bookshops (mainly to see if I could find some Donald Duck comic books which for some odd reason don’t get published in the UK. No such luck). What with the recent release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, there were some stands with Harry Potter novels and these had different covers to what I’m used to in the UK:
I quite like these new French covers which I thought superior to the Spanish ones on account of the latter seemingly using a really cheap font for J. K. Rowling’s name (lost that picture sadly). Anyway, it’s made me think of what other foreign covers may look like so let’s have a look together.
Chinese and Japanese
These are quite interesting in an odd sort of way. It’s hard to tell at first glance with the left but that’s actually Fluffy, not a Gryffindor lion. The Japanese one looks like a kind of chalk/watercolour effect which actually looks quite pretty really. Here’s the Japanese version of Beedle the Bard using a similar look:
It’s different certainly but I’d like to see representation of the other stories in the collection.
For The Tales of Beedle the Bard, this lacks Rowling’s original drawings but it’s attractive all the same.
The old French editions look rather… amateurish in my personal opinion. Like those cheapo e-book covers. I’m sure they could have been drawn better and this is coming from someone who has no drawing talent whatsoever so I appreciate those who can draw well. Gotta love Hedwig’s wide-eyed look in the first cover though.
What happened to you Harry?! What’s with the DreamWorks eyebrow on every cover?!
… What’s with the large noses? These make me think more about political cartoons in their style than anything else. The displacement of the title for the second book is also really bothering me unless it was just a badly-cropped picture. Extra points for uniqueness though.
Not too bad but overall, they’re not my favourite in the world. I quite like the later covers though with Order of the Phoenix being my particular favourite. Here are some newer American covers:
Really love the artwork with this! My particular favourites are the first and last covers. I get a good feel of what’s in the books from these. Beautiful.
Hmm, those older title fonts scream 80s fantasy to me. These seem pretty dated on the whole by the look and feel of it. I must also question why Harry appears to be holding his nose for Order of the Phoenix. It just seems… weird.
Lovely colours and styling and ones I’d probably pick up. Interesting to note that Harry on the later covers looks very much like his movie counterpart.
Italy, I expected better from you; this is the country that birthed Michelangelo and da Vinci for crying out loud! The title stands out poorly on the backgrounds and the less said about the questionable art, the better. The last one isn’t too bad though.
English (Adult Version)
Adult covers of children’s books exist so that adults are not embarrassed when seen to be reading what is considered a children’s book and for the most part, they tend to go for a gritty, realistic look. This looks like some dank, war-time novel. Here’s some more:
Pretty aesthetically pleasing on the whole. Minimalist and functional.
English (Children Version)
The original and my favourites! (Probably due to nostalgia. ^^) These take pride of place on my bookshelves and I love them to pieces! Now that I think about it though, on the first cover, shouldn’t Harry be a bit further back? He’s either walking directly in front of the train or he’s looking at something further ahead which is clearly not the train. Here’s the latest ones:
Illustrated by Jonny Duddle, put together by one of my publishing tutors, Becky Chilcott, the art style is highly pretty to be sure but I can’t help but think that Harry doesn’t look as if he ages at all on the different covers. Definitely aimed at the younger audience.
Any covers you particularly like that I have or have not included? Or ones you definitely don’t like? Tell me your thoughts!
All covers from respective publishers used under Fair Use.