The quiet is deafening around my house this week — my kids have fallen down the rabbit hole reading "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood...

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The quiet is deafening around my house this week — my kids have fallen down the rabbit hole reading “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” The craze for the modern-day magician provoked me finally to get to an exhibit at the University of Washington that commemorates the 200th anniversary of the birth of a J.K. Rowling antecedent, Hans Christian Andersen.

The free exhibit, on the main floor of Suzzallo-Allen Library just inside the entrance, follows Andersen’s life through illustrated storyboards. His own rags-to-riches tale is interesting enough, but more compelling are displays of various editions of Andersen’s work. These exquisite books will entrance the book collector — most were donated to the university by Elias Bredsdorff in the 1970s, and it’s intriguing to see tales such as “The Emperor’s New Clothes” interpreted by various artists, laboring in isolation in such far-flung places as Russia, Japan and Czechoslovakia.

“Celebrating Hans Christian Andersen: 1805-2005” continues for one more week — its last day is Aug. 1. For more information, go to www.lib.washington.edu/about/events/andersen.html or call 206-543-0242 to get the library’s summer schedule.