Tag: Chris Van Allsburg

  • Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg Picture Book Analysis

    Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg

    “Queen of the Falls” is a picture book written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg. Some years ago, Van Allsburg gave a TED talk on this book and the history behind it. This post will focus on the storytelling techniques.

  • Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg Picture Book Analysis

    Jumanji is a 1981 picture book written and illustrated by American storyteller Chris Van Allsburg. You may be familiar with the 1995 film adaptation starring Robin Williams. Chris Van Allsburg has said that this story started with imagery. He wanted to put unexpected things together, such as a rhino in a living room. He describes […]

  • The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg Analysis

    The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg cover

    The Stranger (1986) is the seventh picture book written and illustrated by popular American storyteller Chris Van Allsburg.

  • The Garden of Abdul Gasazi by Chris Van Allsburg

    The Garden of Abdul Gasazi (1979) was the first picture book by American author/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg, who himself admits astonishment at the book’s immediate success. This was helped by reviews in America-wide publications. Such attention has always been unusual for children’s stories, and perhaps says something about how this story appeals to all ages.…

  • The Widow’s Broom by Chris Van Allsburg Picturebook Analysis

    The Widow's Broom Chris Van Allsburg cover

    “The Widow’s Broom” is a 1992 picture book by American author illustrator Chris Van Allsburg. Like many of Van Allsburg’s books, this one remains popular with teachers, partly because this is a storyteller who requires the reader to do a little work. Students can practise their inference skills in class. Like all good stories which…

  • Fairy Cup Legends In Modern Children’s Stories

    The Final Page of The Polar Express

    Is fairy land real? Some children’s stories would like us to think so. Their endings contain a ‘wink’, encouraging readers to carry the possibility of fantasy lands with them, even after the story draws to a close. This is one way of achieving resonance. We might argue this is a cheap trick. Enter Richard Dawkins,…

  • Just A Dream By Chris Van Allsburg Analysis

    Just A Dream Chris Van Allsburg

    Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg (1990) is a picture book with an environmental message typical of its era. As part of the corpus of children’s literature with environmental messages, the 1990s offered many excellent children’s book examples of the now-outdated ‘personal responsibility’ message. Around this time children received the ‘good people recycle’ message.…

  • The Size and Format of Picturebooks

    How does the binding of a book affect reader expectations? What about the size? The actual individual appearance of of individual books is just as obvious an example of how prior expectations control our responses to stories; it influences our attitude to the stories the books contain before we even begin to read them. We…