HARRY POTTER Book Covers Around the World

Harry Potter Italian Cover

Recently, I linked to an interesting article in The Observer about international book covers (More Reasons Not to Judge a Book by Its Cover).

What I didn’t bring up before was that the author casually mentions something about the Harry Potter books that I didn’t know. He wonders, “what prompted Italian book designers to give junior wizard Harry Potter a hat shaped like a mouse…” Wait, WHAT?

Naturally I had to see this craziness for myself, so I found an image of the Italian book cover, which you can see above. I know it’s silly, but I find this cover so freaking hilarious that I can’t stop laughing. Please tell me that is a faux mouse head Harry is wearing, not a real one. And what’s up with the giant mouse next to him? Is that supposed to be Scabbers? I’m dying to know the reasoning behind the mouse hat, so if anyone can enlighten me, please do.

After seeing the Italian Harry Potter’s headwear, I decided to go looking for more international covers. None are as awesome as Italy’s, but I found a few more interesting ones that I’d like to share.

Let’s start with a Harry Potter cover from Iceland, where life has apparently been rough on Harry and he is a middle-aged accountant. He looks like he’s about to throw himself in front of the Hogwarts Express. And what’s up with his scar? If you didn’t know he had a scar on his forehead, you’d think he got shot in the head.

Next up is a Harry Potter cover from Finland. Here Harry is sporting a perm and some sort of weird Jester’s collar. Poor Ron looks like Carrot Top. And Hermione…well, there are no words.

In the Czech Republic Harry seems to be a magician because he wears a top hat and cape, and appears to be in some sort of circus tent. Or is that supposed to be the Great Hall at Hogwarts? I have no explanation for the lipstick print on his hat. Wait, maybe that’s supposed to be the sorting hat?

Finally, we have the French Harry Potter who goes with a very simple, Halloween-esque look. Or pilgrims. It’s a Harry Potter Thanksgiving!

I find these covers endlessly entertaining and I hope you do too. If you can offer any insight on what is going on in the Czech or Italian covers, please let me know in the comments.

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  • Cellar Door

    I’m Italian and… well, I’ve been wondering what the hell is up with that cover for six years. No, really, I’d love to know what the illustrator was high on when she did that thing, it’s amazingly hilarious.
    And as far as silly hats are concerned, you might also want to check out our “Chamber of Secrets” cover, where Harry is sporting a crocodile (!) head or something. The interesting thing is that this is peculiar of the first two covers only, whereas the last five give us a rather normal Harry.

    • http://www.daemonsbooks.com Kristen

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I took a look at The Chamber of Secrets cover and you’re right, Harry’s hat looks like a crocodile head. That’s totally out of left field, LOL! Thanks for the tip :)

    • SiMo

      Hi, I’m italian too and I’ve always thougth the animal on the hat in “HP and the Chamber of Secret” is the Basilisk! Anyway, I think our covers are incomprehensible, but very funny! =)

  • Ruth

    Love your article! It’s interesting to see the different covers. I think the cover from Finland is just creepy. Hermione and Ron look a little rodent-esque.

  • Arne

    You should check out the Dutch covers, they’re pretty awesome 😉

  • Jason

    These artist are horrible. Couldn’t they have hired better artist? I know there is a lot of great talent in those countries.

    That last one looks like it was made by a 12 year old…

  • guest

    How could THIS happen? They’re just terrible. I come from Czech Republic and yes, it’s Sorting hat and Great hall. Now we have all covers same as in USA. They’re probably the best but they could look better. Almost every HP cover is creepy, even the English ones, I wonder why. I’m sure that if I lived in Iceland or Finnland, I’d never become a Harry Potter fan. It’s disgusting. The Italian one looks funny at least.

    • Alexpark10

      I am currently in Prague and was wondering where I could find that original czech cover. All I can find is the US version. Any hints would help. Thanks!

  • Lizzy

    Maybe in the Czech version the top hat is supposed to be the sorting hat and it has lips because it talks…?

  • Klywon

    I’m from Finland, and I’m surprised how badly they screwed up the covers in almost EVERY damn country. Even the british ones look stupid, though they are still better when compared to Finnish ones.

    The cover is supposed to be something to make people buy the book, so I think they would even put a little value for that!

    I think they hit it at the U.S. covers 5-7. They look just fantastic, especially the fifth and the last one. THAT’S the cover I would like to have on my copy of The Deathly Hallows, not the bland finnish one.