Famed children's author Chris Van Allsburg brings a bold new work to town
Chris Van Allsburg, the man behind the glowingly illustrated children’s classics Jumanji and The Polar Express, is coming to town with a buffed-out new edition of yet another famous title.
The Chronicles of Harris Burdick (Houghton Mifflin) is a star-studded update of Van Allsburg’s surreal 1984 book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. The original version offered 14 rich, uncanny images which—according to the premise—were the work of an artist who supplied only a title and a brief caption for each, before vanishing forever. Van Allsburg invited readers to come up with their own stories to go with the mute but dream-charged plates, including such scenes as a vinelike plant sprouting from an open book, and a nun floating high above the floor of a cathedral.
Now these readers can measure their storytelling prowess against that of some serious pros. Chronicles pairs each of Van Allsburg’s original images with a member of the illustrious group of authors assembled for the project, among them Sherman Alexie, Lois Lowry, Jon Scieszka, Cory Doctorow, and a promising young horror writer named Stephen King. The result is a collection of compact, intriguing, often eerie tales.
Van Allsburg will present the Burdick reboot at a special Kidsbooks-sponsored event on Wednesday (November 9), at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Gym (2550 Camosun Street). Tickets are $30, but each comes with a copy of the large-format hardcover book.