Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg and others

Fourteen outstanding authors tell stories inspired by the surreal charcoal drawing illustrations from a book Chris Van Allsburg published more than a quarter century ago: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. I especially liked A Strange Day in July by Sherman Alexie and Missing in Venice by Gregory Maguire, but there isn’t a dud in the bunch. They all include some element of the supernatural and celebrate the peculiar.

When Van Allsburg was interviewed by Nancy Pearl on Book Lust, he said that Harold and the Purple Crayon was one of his favourite childhood books. Hooray for art and the power of human imagination! The Chronicles of Harris Burdick would make a fine family read-aloud. Grade 3 and up.

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