29. March 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Melody, Short Stories

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, 195 pages, read by Melody, on 03/27/2012

What an amazing book.  For the uninitiated, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is a picture book sort of illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, Caldecott winner for The Polar Express and Jumangi.  I say sort of because in the preface of the book, Van Allsburg says the pictures are really from a fellow named Harris Burdick who dropped off 14 drawings that he said that he had written stories for at a publisher’s desk to see what the publisher  thought of them and then Burdick, and the stories to accompany the drawings, were never seen again.  The publisher then gave them to Van Allsburg years later.  To this day, Van Allsburg’s official story is that Burdick indeed does exist and the story behind the illustrations is true.  Regardless of the ownership, the pictures are weird and magical and often menacing with cryptic quotes.  Over the years, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick has served as the inspiration in countless classrooms when students create their own stories based on the drawings. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick is an extension of those projects.  Written by top flight writers; Stephen King, Kate DiCamillo, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, ect and  introduced by Lemony Snicket, The Chronicles of Harris Burdick is a collection of short stories that capture the mysterious wonderment of the original art.  Highly recommend this book.

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