The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales (illustrations by Chris Van Allsburg)
From Miss Melia at Main
Harris Burdick has been a mystery for over 25 years. As legend has it, a man walked into a publishing house, presented the publisher with fourteen drawings, and said he would be back the next day with the stories that accompanied them. The man didn’t come back the next day or the next—or ever again. His name was Harris Burdick.
Legend also has it that Chris Van Allsburg heard about the mystery man and decided to research the matter. He was presented with a box of stories many people had wrote to accompany the drawings, and Mr. Van Allsburg decided the only thing to do was publish Mr. Burdick’s sketches so that others could be inspired to create their own tales. And so, Mr. Van Allsburg did just that, releasing the sketches in a book titled The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. This was in 1984.
Now, with the publishing of a brand new book, the mysteries have been solved…or have they? The Chronicles of Harris Burdick puts a story with each of the original drawings. Written by some of today’s best-known authors, such as M.T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Jules Feiffer, Stephen King, Lois Lowry, Linda Sue Park, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, Lemony Snicket, and Chris Van Allsburg himself, the stories give the sketches a new life. One of my favorites is “Under the Rug”. From the humorous to the peculiar to the downright creepy, every story keeps the reader intrigued to the end and beyond. Be warned that for some readers, the stories may not satisfy them and they will want to read The Mysteries of Harris Burdick to make their own tales.
I would recommend The Chronicles of Harris Burdick for older children ages 10 and up. For younger children as well as older, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is the perfect book to spark a child’s imagination and encourage them to invent their own stories. I would highly suggest both books!