Covers and Frontispiece
Notes and links: Steve Vander Ark and Michele L. Worley
About the Dedication:
Jill Prewett and Aine Kiely were two of JKR's best friends while she was living in Porto, Portugal. The three of them would hang out at a disco in town called Swing, which explains the dedication. Jill Prewett lent her name to Molly Weasley, whose maiden name was Prewett.
Original Scholastic cover art:
This cover of the U.S. edition, by Mary GrandPré, shows Harry and Hermione riding Buckbeak. Both children seem to be having a really great time, which doesn't really fit with the mood of the actual event. Clearly, they are intent on rescuing Sirius, who appears in silhouette toward the bottom of the page. On the back, we see four Dementors prowling around the castle and the Whomping Willow in the distance. Crookshanks is waiting under the tree.
On the inside front flap, a small rat with a large shadow sits outside Sirius' window and watches the hippogriff go by. On the back flap, a silver stag stands in front of a small house with smoke rising from its chimney -- probably Hagrid's hut.
Interestingly, it is the ride on the hippogriff which appears on almost every cover all over the world.
Gallery of cover art from around the world (from The Hogwarts Galleries)