Mary GrandPré thought she was too busy for Potter

  July 25, 2003 at 11:27 AM ET
  James     Wizard News (via Toledo Blade)

I will say that if Ms. Grandpré decided not to workopens in new window on the Harry Potter series, they wouldn't be quite as unique and beautiful as they are today.

Mary GrandPré thought she was too busy seven years ago to illustrate the story of a bespectacled boy and his friends at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft.

But the book illustrator eventually broke down and agreed to read the then-unknown manuscript. That catapulted her into the Harry Potter phenomenon that’s swept the world.

"It could have been anyone illustrating this book, and I’m lucky I said yes," Ms. GrandPré said yesterday, while speaking to a crowd of nearly 300 at the University of Findlay.

Ms. GrandPré, who’s illustrated the five U.S. editions of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, was one of 16 well-known illustrators of children’s literature who spoke this week at the university’s Mazza Summer Institute. The institute is primarily for children’s librarians and elementary schoolteachers.

During her hour-long presentation, Ms. GrandPré of St. Paul flipped through a slide show filled with her illustrations - some finished and some just preliminary sketches - including a few of the popular Harry Potter.


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