The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is a very special picture book written by Chris Van Allsburg in 1984. “A picture book?”, you are probably asking now. Well hold on a second! This book is something much more than just that. If you answered my title question with a ´´No´´, looking all confused at your monitor, let me enlighten you on who Harris Burdick is. First of all, he is a fictional character. His story goes like this: One day Mr. Burdick, the prolific writer that he was, went to a publisher called Peter Wenders with a collection of 14 illustrations. After proudly telling him that he has a story for every illustration, as well as many more where those cme from, he was informed by Mr. Wenders that he would love to publish his work. But Mr. Burdick, the tricky thing that he was, did something that would drive any publisher insane. While Mr. Wenders was dreaming of fortune and glory, looking greedily at the 14 illustrations, Mr. Burdick did something very very rude: he never came back. So now Mr. Wenders was left with a sad-looking deadline and 14 illustrations together with their titles and short captions from the texts. But not the stories! Wait a minute! People can make the stories. So many people did their own stories, based on the Burdick illustrations, titles and captions. Some were scary, some were emotional, some perhaps a little dull.
Did this raise your interest? Well then I will spice it all up a little bit by telling you that the author of this amazing book, Chris Van Allsburg, wrote and illustrated Jumanji and The Polar Express. Now you know who wrote this. Now you even know who Harris Burdick is. You are very welcome!
If your answer to my question was a knowledgeable´´ YES! Everyone knows who Harris Burdick is. ‘Doh.´´ ,well then you have to calm yourself ! Do not worry though, this blog entry will not be about The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, but about The Chronicles of Harris Burdick. This is a collection of short stories based on the original illustrations. The authors involved in the project are: Sherman Alexie, M.T. Anderson, Kate Dr. Camillio, Cory Doctorow,Jules Feiffer, Stephen King, Tabitha King, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire,Walter Dean Myers,Linda Sue Park,Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, and Chris Van Allsburg himself. It is a great collection of short stories that are appropriate for children (most of them, some could be a tiny bit scary or hard to understand; this is of course depending on the age). Read the rest of this entry »