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Works by
Chris Van Allsburg
(Illustrator and Writer)
[June 18, 11949 - ]

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Profile created February 17, 2008
  • Probuditi! (2006)
    For his birthday, Calvins mother gives him two tickets to see Lomax the Magnificent (magician and hypnotist extraordinaire!). Even though Mama hints that his little sister, Trudy, would love to go, Calvin doesnt hesitate to invite his friend Rodney instead. The boys return home greatly impressed by the magicians performance. When Calvins mother goes out, she leaves him in charge of Trudy. Its a job Calvin dislikes because his sister does not want to be left out of anything. So Calvin and Rodney include her-by making her the first subject for their own hypnotizing machine. Much to the boys surprise, the machine works. But unfortunately they cannot undo what they have done. Trudy is stuck in her trance, convinced she is a dog-panting, drooling, and barking at squirrels. The only problem is, Calvin cant remember Lomaxs magic word-Probuditi!-so Trudy wont snap out of it! The boys are worried and decide to take Trudy to the one man they know can solve their problem-but will Lomax help them? Mama is on her way home... Who will have the last laugh?  Ages 4-8.

  • Zathura (2002)
    On the last page of the Caldecott Medal-winning book
    Jumanji, young Danny Budwing is seen running home with a game tucked under his arm.

    Now, after twenty years, Chris Van Allsburg is ready to reveal what happens when Danny and his brother roll the dice. This time the name of the game is Zathura and Walter and Danny Budwing are in for the ride of their lives.

    Only the mind and hand of Chris Van Allsburg could create such a fantastic world where shifts in time and space and perspective take the reader on an extraordinary journey. Ages 4 to 8.

  • A City in Winter (1996) by Mark Helprin with Chris Van Allsburg, Illustrator
    Driven to avenge the murder of her royal parents and reclaim her lost kingdom, a daring young heroine and would-be queen journeys to the besieged city on the plain to seek out its evil conqueror, the Usurper. There she is befriended by two unlikely rebels who shield her from the Usurper and his malevolent legions, even while destiny propels her toward an inevitable confrontation - and the beginning of an epic battle.

    Mark Helprin's spellbinding tale reveals a city veiled in snow, at once divine and deadly. Evocatively told and beautifully rendered, A City in Winter will enchant readers of all ages. Stunning illustrations by Chris Van Allsburg lend a palpable richness to the pages, capturing all the exhilarating expanse of the story - from the pulse of the masses in the palace square to the wrath of the bloodthirsty Usurper who scours the city streets after curfew, to the opulence of an intimate dinner party set for a thousand guests…

  • Bad Day at Riverbend (1995)
    Riverbend was a quiet little town, the kind of place where one day was just like all the rest and nothing ever happened. Occasionally the stagecoach rolled through, but it never stopped, because no one ever came to Riverbend and no one ever left. The day the stagecoach stood motionless in the center of town, Sheriff Ned Hardy knew something was terribly wrong. What was the mysterious substance on both coach and horses? It would not come off. Soon it was everywhere in the tidy little village. Something had to be done, and Sheriff Hardy aimed to do it. Ages 4-8.

  • The Sweetest Fig (1993)
    "These figs are very special," the woman whispered. "They can make your dreams come true." -- Thus Monsieur Bibot, the cold-hearted dentist, was given two ordinary-looking figs as payment for extracting a tooth from an old woman's mouth. Monsieur Bibot refused to believe such nonsense and proceeded to eat one of the figs for a bedtime snack. Although it was possibly the finest, sweetest fig he had ever tasted, it wasn't until the next morning that Monsieur Bibot realized it indeed had the power to make his dreams come true. While dragging his poor dog, Marcel, out for his walk, he discovered that his strange dream from the night before was becoming all too real. Determined to make good use of the second fig, Monsieur Bibot learns to control is dreams. But can he control Marcel? Once again Chris Van Allsburg explores the mysterious territory between fantasy and reality in an uncanny tale that will intrigue readers of all ages.  Ages 4-8.

  • The Veil of Snows (1993) by Mark Helprin with Chris Van Allsburg, Illustrator
    Although her kingdom has lived in peace for many years, the queen has always feared the day the Usurper would return to plunge her city into darkness. Even as she rejoices the birth of her first child, she sees signs of impending danger. Her husband and his army have vanished in the wilderness.

    With only a short time left to reinforce the kingdom's defense, her faithful general masterminds a strategy to keep the city safe, against great odds. But even when the Usurper's victory may seem to be complete, the mysterious veil of snows hides a symbol of undying hope.

    The Veil of Snows is a moving and powerful tale about the light of the human spirit, a light that can never be wholly extinguished.

  • The Widow's Broom (1992)
    A widow finds herself in possession of an extraordinary broom left by a witch who fell into the widow's garden.  Ages 4-8.

  • The Wretched Stone (1991)
    In a story recounted through the daily log of Captain Allan Hope, the sailors aboard the Rita Anne become mesmerized and transformed by a mysterious glowing rock, and only music and books can restore them to normal.  Ages 4-8.

  • Just a Dream (1990)
    Young Walter litters and refuses to sort trash for recycling, until he dreams of an overcrowded and polluted future which terrifies him into taking care of the earth.  Ages 9-12.

  • Swan Lake (1989) by Mark Helprin with Chris Van Allsburg, Illustrator
    A young prince and his beloved Odette struggle to protect themselves and their infant daughter from the evil Von Rothbart in this adaptation of the classic ballet.

  • Two Bad Ants (1988)
    When two bad ants desert from their colony, they experience a dangerous adventure that convinces them to return to their former safety.  Ages 4-8.

  • The Z Was Zapped: A Play in Twenty-Six Acts (1987)
    A dramatic black- and- white presentation of the alphabet in which the three-time Caldecott medalist depicts a mysterious transformation of each letter. Ages 4-8.

  • The Stranger (1986)
    The enigmatic origins of the stranger Farmer Bailey hits with his truck and brings home to recuperate seem to have a mysterious relation to the changing season.  Ages 4-8.

  • The Polar Express (1985) -- Winner 1985 Randolph Caldecott Medal
    A magical train ride on Christmas Eve takes a boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. Ages 4-8.

  • The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (1984)
    Since its publication in 1984, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick has stimulated the minds of readers of all ages and backgrounds. Now the original fourteen drawings are available in a large portfolio edition of loose sheets. In addition, a newly discovered fifteenth drawing, titled The Youngest Magician, has been added, as well as an updated introduction by the author. The puzzles of these mysterious drawings will be even more provocative because of the larger size and the exceptional printing quality. For the first time, the drawings can be shared with groups or displayed singly. Ages 9-12.

  • The Wreck of the Zephyr (1983)

  • At the edge of a cliff lies the wreck of a small sailboat. How did it get there? "Waves carried it up in a storm," says an old sailor. But is it possible that waves could ever get that high?

    There is another story - the story of a boy and his obsessive desire to be the greatest sailor, the story of a storm that carried the boy and his boat to a place where boats glide like gulls high above the water and not upon it. Chris Van Allsburg tells that story of the boy and his boat, the Zephyr, in words and haunting, full-color pastel paintings.

    His sailboats sail the night sky with the stars in pictures so vivid that the reader can almost hear the wind in the sails. Here is a work of unusual artistry that will enchant readers of all ages for many years to come. Ages 4-8.
  • Ben's Dream (1982)
    On a terrifically rainy day, Ben has a dream in which he and his house float by the monuments of the world, half submerged in flood-water. Ages 4-8.

  • Jumanji (1981) -- Winner 1982 Randolph Caldecott Medal
    The game under the tree looked like a hundred others Peters and Judy had at home. But they were bored and restless and, looking for something interesting to do, thought they'd give Jumanji a try. Little did they know when they unfolded its ordinary-looking playing board that they were about to be plunged into the most exciting and bizare adventure of their lives. In his second book for children, Chris Van Allsburg again explores the ever-shifting line between fantasy and reality with this story about a game that comes startingly to life. His marvelous drawings beautifully convey a mix of the everyday and the extraordinary, as a quiet house is taken over by an exotic jungle. Ages 4-8.

  • The Garden of Abdul Gasazi (1979) -- Winner 1980 Randolph Caldecott Medal
    Sometimes that very thin line between illusion and reality is not as clearly defined as we would like it to be. It certainly wasn't the day that Alan Mitz stumbled into the garden of Abdul Gasazi. For in this bizarre and eerie place -- where strange topiary trees loomed -- the evil visage of Gasazi casts its shadow. And even after Alan escaped, the spell of Gasazi still seemed to penetrate into his everyday world. In this extraordinary, unusual, and unique picture book, Chris Van Allsburg explores both the real and surreal worlds with incredible deftness. In doing so, he has created exquisite and beautiful images that will continue to haunt readers long after they have left the enchanted garden of Abdul Gasazi. Ages 4-8.

  • The Mysteries of Chris Van Allsburg (2004) by Chris Van Allsburg and Jane Bayard Curley
    "Like his mentor Maurice Sendak, Chris Van Allsburg proves through his highly imaginative work that children enjoy material that may prove unsettling to adults. In "Jumanji" (1981), for example, the monkeys pillaging the kitchen are not the lovable characters typified by Curious George. Throughout his oeuvre, Van Allsburg propels his reader in and out of reality and, as Jane Curley points out in her essay, looks to earlier traditions for inspiration. His admiration for the German Romantics -- early and late -- combines the hermetic stillness of Caspar David Friedrich with Max Klinger's penchant for the bizarre to produce what the artist himself terms a 'gentle surrealism.' "

-- From "Acknowledgments," by H. Nichols B. Clark

  • Zathura The Movie Deluxe Storybook (2005)
    Lavishly illustrated, this storybook brings readers on a thrilling journey to outer space and includes a 15 x 19 34 full-color keepsake poster. Ages 4-8.

  • The Magic Journey: The Movie -- The Magic Journey Deluxe Storybook (2004) by Chris Van Allsburg, Robert Zemeckis, Tracey West, and William Broyles
    Imagine going to bed on Christmas Eve and waiting for Santa Claus, only to hear a noise outside. Wondering if it could be Santa, you bound towards the window. As you look at your street, you aren't sure if what you are seeing is real. It isn't Santa Claus, but instead a huge train. The conductor is waiting for you. You've got a ticket. And you'll never believe where you're headed. Chris Van Allsburg's beloved tale of a boy's journey to the North Pole gets retold in a magical, gorgeous deluxe storybook. Including illustrations based on the upcoming film and a full-color poster, this treasure is sure to be savored by Van Allsburg's legions of fans.

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