Chris Van Allsburg

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by bmcmurtry
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Language Arts
Subject:
Writers Biographies

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Chris Van Allsburg

Chris Van Allsburg was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 18, 1949. He has one older sister named Karen, and his family owned a creamery where they turned milk into butter, cheese, cottage cheese and ice cream! Chris walked a mile and a half to school evey day until sixth grade when his family moved to East Grand Rapids. Chris was admitted into the University of Michigan when he fooled the admissions officer into believing that he was an experienced artist when he claimed that Norman Rockwell was an unfairly criticized artist. Chris majored in sculpture and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1972. Chris continued on to receive his M.F.A. degree at the Rhode Island School of Design and set up a sculpture studio in Rhode Island. In 1975, Chris married fellow University of Michigan alumni, Lisa Morrison. Chris started drawing as a hobby in addition to his sculptures and caught the eye of his friends. Lisa and his friends started encouraging him to show off his illustrations. Chris's editor, Walter Lorraine, encouraged him to not only continue drawing, but to think about writing his own books. The Garden of Abdul Gasazi was published in 1979. Chris continued on to write and illustrate more than 19 books, as well as illustrated three books for fellow author, Mark Helprin and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Chris and Lisa celebrated their daughter Sophia's, birth in 1991, and then their daughter Anna's birth in 1995. Chris now lives in Maine and entertains his children with his unique talent of playing the recorder through his nose.

Chris Van Allsburg

Fun fact!Chris and his family had two siamese cats named Fafner and Eloise.

Fun Fact!Fritz the white bull terrier was modeled by Chris's brother-in-law's dog, Winston. When Winston had an accident, Chris decided to draw Fritz in all of his books in honor of Winston!

Books by Chris Van Allsburg1979- The Garden of Abdul Gasazi1981- Jumanji1982- Ben's Dream1983- The Wreck of the Zephyr1984- The Mysteries of Harris Burdick1985- The Polar Express1986- The Stranger1987- The Z was Zapped1988- Two Bad Ants1990- Just a Dream 1991- The Wretched Stone1992- The Widow's Broom1993- The Sweetest Fig1995- Bad Day at Riverbend2002- Zathura2006- Probuditi!2011- Queen of the Falls2014- The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie

1981- NY Times Best Illustrated Chidren's Books citation, NY Times Outstanding Books citation1982- Caldecott Medal, Boston Globe Horn Book Award for illustration, Children's Choice from International Reading Association, American Book Award for illustration from the Association of American Publishers1983- Kentucky Bluegrass Award from Ohio State Library1984- Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award from the Washington Library Media Association1985- West Virginia Children's Book Award1996- Goldren Archer Primary Award Winner from the Wisconsin Educational Media Association

1985- NY Times Best Illustrated Children's Books citation, Parent's Choice Award for Illustration from Parents' Choice Foundation1986- Caldecott Medal, Boston Globe Horn Book Award for Illustration1987- Kentucky Bluegrass Award from Northern Kentucky University

1979- NY Times Best Illustrated Children's Books citation1980- Caldecott Honor Book citation from the American Library Association, Boston Globe Horn Book Award for illustration, Irma Simonton Black Award from The Bank Street College of Education1982- International Board on Books citation for illustration

1995- Rhode Island Children's Book Award Winner1996- Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Winner [Grades 3-8]

The idea of the extraordinary happening in the context of the ordinary is what's fascinating to me.

Made into Motion Picture in 2004!Click my picture for the movie trailer!

Made into Motion Picture in 2005!Click my picture for the movie trailer!

Made into Motion Picture in 1995!Click my picture for the movie trailer!

MOST RECENT BOOK!Click my picture for an interview with Chris about my book!

First Book!

Click here for Teacher Guides using Chris Van Allsburg's books!

Fun Fact!Chris writes and illustrates all of his own books!

MAIL ME!Chris Van AllsburgHoughton Mifflin Harcourt222 Berkeley StBoston, MA 02116-3764 USA


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