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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Chris VanAllsburg Reading Marathon

In my effort to become more well-read in the picture book world, I've decided that this year I will do a series of reading "marathons" if you will.  I'm going to pick an author and read all of their work that I can possibly get my hands on.  My first choice was the remarkable Chris VanAllsburg.

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 Mysteries of Harris Burdick

The Sweetest Fig
The Sweetest Fig

Queen of the Falls
Queen of the Falls


    

1 comment:

  1. I love doing author studies with picture books or other books. Van Allsburg's work is interesting...just a bit off/different.

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