Author Name: Van Allsburg, Chris

Tell them that you will be writing a list of these facts on the chart paper and then discussing how Van Allsburg blends those facts into the story.

Begin the list in front of your students by thinking out loud.

Chris Van Allsburg - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The Polar Express – by Chris Van Allsburg

A Video Interview With Chris Van Allsburg | Reading Rockets

Just as Chris Van Allsburg creates a conflict, or disagreement, and then helps Walter and Danny resolve that conflict, your students will be making stories that deal with their own real-life disagreements with siblings or friends.

Read for your students the first page of , in which Walter and Danny are fighting about the broken walkie-talkie.

Chris Van Allsburg | English 430: Literature & the Visual …

He is so appealing that it is no surprise that Van Allsburg has chosen to hide this impish dog in each of the many children's books he has written since his debut with .

by Chris Van Allsburg

Meeting Chris Van Allsburg - Sara J Creations

For more than twenty-five years, the illustrations in the extraordinary Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg have intrigued and entertained readers of all ages. Thousands of children have been inspired to weave their own stories to go with these enigmatic pictures. Now we’ve asked some of our very best storytellers to spin the tales. Enter The Chronicles of Harris Burdick to read this incredible compendium of stories: mysterious, funny, creepy, poignant, these are tales you won’t soon forget.

Over the weekend, I had the chance to meet Chris Van Allsburg

In 1983, the Caldecott artist Chris Van Allsburg first invited young readers to consider the wreck of a small sailboat, up on a cliff, far above the crash of the surf. How could the Zephyr have made its way up there? And is it true that there was once a prideful boy determined to sail the skies despite a villager’s warning? Told as a story spun by a world-weary sailor, and illustrated with haunting, luminous, full-color pastels, The Wreck of the Zephyr takes on new life in this thirtieth-anniversary gift edition, complete with a new jacket and narration by the author available as a downloadable digital audio file. A dreamy cautionary tale for the ages.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg | Scholastic

From two-time Caldecott winner Chris Van Allsburg, creator of Jumanji and The Polar Express, comes a poignant story of one hamster’s struggle with destiny. Being a pet store hamster isn’t much fun for Sweetie Pie, but life in human homes proves downright perilous. As Sweetie Pie longingly gazes out of his cage at the squirrels frolicking in the trees, he wonders if he’ll ever have the chance to feel the wind in his fur. Van Allsburg’s expressive, soft-hued illustrations artfully capture a hamster’s-eye view of the wide and wonderful world where maybe, just maybe, Sweetie Pie could someday run free.

Another, larger idea in the text is belief in magic, a theme that is echoed in many of Van Allsburg's more recent books as well.

A Video Interview With Chris Van Allsburg | Reading …

Ask the students to turn and talk to someone sitting near them about how Chris Van Allsburg has the boys resolve their conflict: How must they help each other in the story?

Do your students know other books, either by Van Allsburg or other writers, that work in the same way?

Chris Van Allsburg | English 430: Literature & the Visual Arts

They may say, "There is no gravity in space," or "Many ships that go into space use robots to help them." They may say, "Some planets have gravity that is stronger than Earth's."

When you have made your list, remind your students that Van Allsburg blends these real facts about space into his fictional story about the Budwings' adventure.

by Chris Van Allsburg

About the Author | CHRIS VAN ALLSBURG

Reinforce the idea that they have created a brand-new story together as a community, starting with only a tiny seed of an idea presented by Chris Van Allsburg.