Kibuishi said that GrandPré's original covers "are so fantastic and iconic" that "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."
President of Scholastic Trade Publishing, Ellie Berger, said that the new covers aren't meant to replace the original ones by Mary GrandPré. She said, "we thought it was time for a fresh approach" for the trade paperbacks "as of a way of attracting the interest of a new generation of 8- and 9-year-olds who may know Harry mostly through the movies."
Scholastic will also release the entire Hogwarts Library as a boxed set, which includes Quidditch Through the Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. The sales will go to two charities, Lumos, created by J.K. Rowling, and Comic Relief.
What do you think of the new covers? Do you prefer Mary GrandPré's artwork?