Dawn DeVries Sokol


{Back in the Real World}


*SIGH* I'm back to the real world, finished with Harry Potter 7. I, like many others this weekend, immersed myself into the powerful story of this young wizard. But I'm not spoiling ANYTHING here....No way would I do that! I just get so wrapped up in a story that's basically another world, another life. I've always done that....If I can't put the book down, I won't and basically get caught up in it until I finish it.

These books have been such a great turning point for the book industry. Getting children to read is always difficult, but in our world of the Internet, the iPod and Wii it's even more of a challenge. The book industry was feeling the effects of the electronic revolution before Harry...Now it's given it somewhat of a rebirth. Kids are reading again. The question is, will they continue?

Not only do I love the story, but I love the art. Illustrator Mary Grandpré has rendered all of the jacket and interior art for the U.S. versions of these books. I had the pleasure of working with Mary before "Harry". I was art directing magazines with a custom publisher and needed illustrations for a story on mothering over 35 for our Spanish publication. I called Mary and told her about the story and details. I basically just let her come up with some concepts for me. All of the sketches she sent to me were incredible. This is what I ran for the opening spread of the story:


It's been wonderful to see Mary's work evolve, but also to see her reach the kind of success she deserves. Her art is still hers, obviously, but it has changed subtly over the years. I feel so fortunate that I got to work with her!