The artist is Johnny Duddle, who, among other things, has done some illoes for Terry Pratchett books. If you look at the originals, the spirit is very similar, though taken from a different scene in the books. Here are the covers I saw when I was first buying them. They're by Thomas Taylor.
. I adore the originals, they're what I picture when I think of the novels, because, unlike many adults, it's never been a problem for me being seen reading a book with a children's cover...but these are also quite lovely and have a lot more going on.
It probably won't matter now what the covers look like, the books are just going to go on and on selling, but it never does harm to refresh a franchise. I look forward to the day when someone does a Harry Potter cover art exhibition with covers from around the world and different times.
So, what do you think of the new covers?