| .: Discover the covers! :.|
This time we’re not going to do any trip, folks. That’s because I’m not going to speak about Harry Potter in a country, but I’ll show you some very interesting covers of the books from around the world. They show different perspectives of the main character of the series, which sometimes may sound a little odd to us. In order to start it, I’d like to call you back to J. K. Rowling’s description of Harry Potter (so that you try to get Daniel Radcliffe’s face out of your minds for a bit): "...Harry had always been small and skinny for his age. He looked even smaller and skinnier than he really was because all he had to wear were old clothes of Dudley’s ... Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees, black hair, and bright green eyes. He wore round glasses held together with a lot of Scotch tape because of all of the times Dudley had punched him on the nose. The only thing Harry liked about his own appearance was a very thin scar on his forehead that was shaped like a bolt of lightning."(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, although I don’t know the correct page of it).
The first real picture of the schoolboy described above appeared in 1997, when the Publishing House Bloomsbury first released Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The image is the one you may see if you look to your British edition’s cover (if you don’t have it, go to The Snitch’s section called "Book Covers" and check it out!) and had been drawn by Thomas Taylor. It’s one of the most famous images of Harry, together with the Mary GrandPré’s pictures. The latter is the one used in the American version (The Sorcerer’s Stone), along with the Brazilian, Albanian, Bulgarian, Canadian, Chinese, Croatian, Israeli, Korean, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Romanian, Russian, Slovakian, South African, Taiwanese and Turkish versions.
These two covers are the ones most of you that are reading this editorial now may look at every time you want to re-read your books. But there are many more, some of them very interesting. For example, in Italy, Harry Potter e la Pietra Filosofale (the first book in Italian) shows a very peculiar and intrigued Harry wearing a rat-like hat beside a rat almost as big as him, which may be Scabbers (hence, there’s no other rat in the plot). They are behind a wizard-chessboard where you can see some pieces that appear to be moving. It’s a beautiful cover, although very non-sense! I’ve got no idea why the artist decided to draw that strange rat… oops, hat on Harry’s head. See it and try to figure it out yourself:
Another strange cover is the Finnish one of Harry Potter ja viisasten kivi (the first book, too). It shows the trio in a caricatural style in front of a chess board filled with pieces, some of them with people’s faces. Harry has very curly and unruly hair, a bulbous nose (such as everyone in the picture!) and seems to be a nerd and unattractive student (completely the opposite of Radcliffe’s stereotype, I may say). Ron’s hair looks like a red-haired Elvis Presley! Very funny! But the most appalling caricature is Hermione’s. She’s got a very pointed nose and huge Ronaldinho-Gaúcho-like teeth. She’s wearing a strange green cape that reminds me of an eggplant! Uproarious! It seems that the Finn artist took Rowling’s descriptions seriously! Check it out:
The Czech cover version of the first book is also remarkable. We can see Harry in the Sorting Ceremony in front of his professors and with the Sorting Hat held by his hands. Despite the appealing fairy-tale-books style, there are some inaccuracies displayed. The Great Hall table, very wide and luxurious, is a wooden tiny table, a tight squeeze for the professors. The Sorting Hat instead of its slit mouth has got a kind of lipstick on the upper part of it. And it is a worn, patched and frayed pointed hat, not a new, clean and bright top hat! Not to mention the loud colors of the professors’ clothes. It seems like fashion stays miles away from Hogwarts. It’s a fine-looking cover, though:
Yet, the best cover I left for the end. I guess everybody thought that Daniel Radcliffe was the first boy chosen to portray Harry’s face, didn’t you? But he wasn’t! Instead of drawing Potter’s picture for the books covers, the Iranian Publishing House found a better solution: they cast a boy to be Harry Potter! Then, they took some pictures of him on a broom, wearing a red cape, a striped T-shirt, black pants and sneakers (he definitely doesn’t look like a wizard!), added some other images and finished the cover! The result was enthralling, although I found that the imagery seems to be unconnected. Tell me what you think:
There are many more interesting covers around the world and I just wanted to show you a bit of it, so that maybe some of you become keen on it. The pictures I just showed you tried to create Harry Potter’s image in the readers’ mind before the movies were released, although maybe Harry and the others weren’t supposed to have a face, like J. K. Rowling wanted in the beginning. It’s much better that our imagination creates their faces, letting it submerge into the books’ fantasy. Unfortunately, though, many people now, while reading the series remember Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and the other noteworthy actors that star as the characters. And we got so hooked onto their faces that we’ve apparently forgotten all the magic that is inside each different cover around the world…
Thanks a lot for reading this editorial! I hope you’ve liked it. Don’t forget: if you’ve got any story that you think would be cool to tell the people, send me an e-mail!
See you in the next trip/editorial.
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