'Harry Potter" Author Wins Hans Christian Andersen Prize

Author J.K. Rowling signs copies of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" for 1,600 public school children at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Oct. 15, 2007. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP/CBS) "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling received the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Prize Tuesday in Odense, Denmark, in a presentation that coincided with the city's annual Harry Potter Festival.

Rowling is the first recipient of the $93,352 award, which was handed out Tuesday at a ceremony in Odense, Andersen's hometown. She also received a bronze sculpture of The Ugly Duckling.

The prize is given to a person who can be compared with Andersen, the Danish writer who was born in 1805 and wrote some 160 fairy tales and poems before his death in 1875.

Rowling said the author of such classics as "The Little Mermaid" and the "The Ugly Duckling" had "created indestructible, eternal characters." She said Andersen recognized hat works for children should not be "bland or soppy or devoid of challenging ingredients."

Rowling's seven books about the boy wizard have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide and have been translated into many languages.