Harald Gripe (1921–1992) was born and raised in Stockholm. Early in his career he worked as a set designer but later focused on painting and the illustrations he drew for his wife’s many books, working frequently in the style of white line etched into a dark background. His large collection of toy theaters is displayed at Gripe Model Theater Museum in Nyköping, Sweden, where he and Maria lived for most of their married life.
Maria Gripe’s books are treasures of international children’s literature. In The Glassblower’s Children she draws on old traditions of fairy tale and Norse myth to tell an exciting story with a very modern sensibility. “Maria Gripe combines simplicity with poetic intensity, and she has the ability to capture the poignancy of emotional experience familiar from memories of childhood.”—TLS