Children's Reading Suggestions

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Giftable Books: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

on May 11, 2014

This is a picture book without a story.  Or rather, the story is that the book’s publisher is in possession of 14 illustrations, each with a title and a single fascinating caption, created by a mysterious writer who disappeared before bestowing the remainder of the stories.

The pictures with their titles and captions are published because it is impossible to look at them “without imagining a story” and “in the hope that…children will be inspired by them”.

This is a great book to share with children who love to tell stories.  Encourage them to write their stories, tell their stories, illustrate their stories.  Write their stories down for them if they’re too young to write themselves.  Use the illustrations in classrooms as writing prompts, or have a family night in telling round robin stories based on the book.

Or just pore over the pictures.  Like Van Allsburg’s (er, Burdick’s?) other awardwinning picture books, the illustrations are magnificent and works of art apart from the text.

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg


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