The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg
(Portfolio Edition)

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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. The Mysteries of Harris Burdick was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 1984.

About Chris Van Allsburg

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Considered to be one of the foremost authors and illustrators of surrealistic fantasy for children, Chris Van Allsburg was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1949. He received his B. F. A. at the University of Michigan and his M. F. A. at the Rhode Island School of Design. He married Lisa Morrison and currently teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design. Van Allsburg's work is highly praised for the excellent artisanship of his illustrations, which often have a surreal element. His first book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi (1979), concerning a lost dog found by a magician, and his second book, Jumanji (1981), about a strange board game that comes to life, brought him quick praise. Jumanji won the Caldecott Medal in 1982. The Polar Express (1985), Van Allsburg's most popular book, deals with the idea that the ability to believe in things beyond one's experiences helps to keep a person young. It also won a Caldecott Medal in 1986. Other books by Van Allsburg include The Z was Zapped, and Just a Dream, a story about a boy who learns to be ecological. Van Allsburg's sculptures have also been exhibited at many New York galleries.
Published October 28, 1996 by HMH Books for Young Readers. 16 pages
Genres: Children's Books.

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Publishers Weekly

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The enigmatic black-and-white drawings are each accompanied by a title and brief caption: for example, a picture of a nun placidly sitting in a chair floating in a cathedral is labeled ""THE SEVEN CHAIRS: The fifth one ended up in France."" The portfolio also includes a 15th drawing, discovered u...

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The Bookbag

Mr Linden's Library is a definite favourite, with the sleeping (dead?) girl with arm crooked around a book sprouting leaves, and her hand interestingly positioned as if she'd been turning the pages before somehow being overcome by the book.

Feb 25 2011 | Read Full Review of The Mysteries of Harris Burdi...

Common Sense Media

But here, readers are left with only hints about the stories that surround these graphite-gray images -- it's up to readers to craft the tales these puzzling pictures imply.

Jan 01 1984 | Read Full Review of The Mysteries of Harris Burdi...


A Barrington Stage presentation of a musical in one act with music by Chris Miller, lyrics by Nathan Tysen, book by Joe Calarco, inspired by the book by Chris Van Allsburg.

Jun 27 2008 | Read Full Review of The Mysteries of Harris Burdi...


Or take the too-whimsical "Oscar and Alphonse," in which a young girl (Nicole Van Giesen, doing her best) converses with two caterpillars who've been her "best friends for almost ten minutes."

Jun 27 2008 | Read Full Review of The Mysteries of Harris Burdi...

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