Before my VanAllsburg marathon, the only books of his that I had read were the ones that received Caldecott recognition: The Polar Express, Jumanji, and The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. I enjoyed each very much, but I wasn't expecting to call VanAllsburg one of my favorite author/illustrators which now, after reading all of the books he both wrote and illustrated, I am quite ready to do. (I did not read all of the books that he solely illustrated. Hopefully I will one day!)
VanAllsburg's work is remarkable for its otherworldy and slightly unnerving almost-creepiness. A quality which I absolutely adored while reading through his books. I know nothing of artwork, so I'm not going to talk about that much, but I did notice that most of his illustrations are heavily shadowed, which, I think, adds to their mysterious aura.
Although I like VanAllsburg's illlustrations, he became a favorite of mine more for his stories than his artwork. I just love how creative and different his tales are.
Of the 18 VanAllsburg books that I read, my 3 favorites were:
|The Mysteries of Harris Burdick|
|The Sweetest Fig|
|Queen of the Falls|