The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

Who is Harris Burdick?For more than twenty-five years, readers have been puzzling over the illustrations by this enigmatic artist. Thousands of children have been inspired to weave their own stories to go with his intriguingly titled pictures. And now, some of our most imaginative storytellers attempt to solve the perplexing mysteries of Harris Burdick. Enter The Chronicles of Harris Burdick to read this incredible compendium of stories: magical,...

Details The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

TitleThe Chronicles of Harris Burdick
Release DateOct 25th, 2011
PublisherHoughton Mifflin Books for Children
GenreShort Stories, Fantasy, Fiction, Childrens, Picture Books, Young Adult, Middle Grade, Mystery

Reviews The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

  • J.K. Grice
    The Mysteries of Harris Burdick is one of my favorite children's books of all time. I discovered it in our school library when it was first published over 30 years ago. For many years, I have used the illustrations and the captions as a springboard for creative writing and illustrating with my students. So in 2011, I greatly anticipated the publication of THE CHRONICLES OF HARRIS BURDICK, because I wanted to see how some of my favorite authors wo...
  • Betsy
    Chris Van Allsburg has always been the Rod Serling of the children’s literary world. Of that there can be no question. With no other author, not Gorey, not Snicket, not even R.L. Stine himself, will kids encounter that eerie feeling that can only be best associated with classic Twilight Zone episodes. All his picture books (even nonfiction ones like Queen of the Falls) suggest to the reader that ours is a world not far removed from the ones fea...
  • The Rusty Key
    Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer: Jordan B. NielsenRecommended for: Children (?) ages 10 and up for independent reading, or 7 and up if being read to (get ready to explain a lot of abstract metaphysical concepts to little Tommy), though I suspect this book will find its largest audience among those old enough to be lured in by the all-star author line up (guilty).One Word Summary: Disappointing. It was too good to be true. A collection of children’...
  • Crowinator
    Actual rating: 3.5 stars. The best stories in this collection have a sense of possibility, of capturing a moment at the beginning or in the middle of a much larger tale, inviting the reader to continue off the page with their own imagination. Those are also the stories that, for me, capture the spirit of the original Harris Burdick book (which I inexplicably found in my house – how did it get there?) -- the endless promise, and the strange and ...
  • Jessie
    When I was a young child, I wrote a letter to the publisher of The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, offering my theories on what might have happened to the author. I was such a cute, precocious little nerd. Now as an adult I can obviously tell who really illustrated that book, but it's still much beloved by me. I was super excited about this collection, but I felt like it was just OK. There weren't a lot of standout stories for me. I found it really ...
  • La Coccinelle
    This book turned out to be a mixed bag for me. I was vaguely aware of the whole Harris Burdick thing (it's explained in both introductions--one of which is at the end of the book). The first introduction by Lemony Snicket almost made me DNF; I get that he's got a certain shtick, but I find it grating and condescending. Anyway, once I got to the actual stories, I had an easier time of it.Here are my thoughts on the individual stories:"Archie Smith...
  • Kate
    One of my favorite children's books of all time is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. I was so excited to find a story by Stephen King based on one of the illustrations in Nightmares and Dreamscapes, so I was 14x excited to find that a whole book of short stories based on the illustrations was coming out! These are stories that would appeal to a wide range of children and teens, and probably many adults as well, just like the ...
  • Agnė
    2.5 out of 5I just HAD to read this short story collection after reading its source of inspiration, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.Eh, I guess my expectations were too high... Hey, but look at the impressive author list! It DOES sound too good to be true, hahaMy favorite piece was Lemony Snicket's introduction. I also liked the stories by Jon Scieszka, Stephen King, M.T. Anderson and Louis Sachar. The others (by Sherman Alexie, Gregory Maguire, ...
  • Wendy
    I CAN'T WAIT to read this series of stories! I have LOVED the Harris Burdick book for use to spawn creative writing from my elementary students! I am intrigued to read what famous authors had to say! Yippee! It is about time! ;-)So, in reading all of the different stories from each illustration, I found about 3 that I really liked and the rest were okay. I think that because I have had so many students write so many creative stories to go along w...
  • Shane Harcombe
    I was really disappointed in this book. I love some of these authors dearly & I love 'The Mysteries of Harris Burdick' immensely - but I just found too many of the stories to be 'meh'. I bought this with the plan of reading them to my students, showing them examples of where these prompts can take you, but haven't found them sufficiently inspiring to do so. Oh well, I haven't had too many "misses" in the books I use with my students so the occasi...
  • Tyler Jones
    Allright! One book and I get to pass judgement on fourteen writers! Here goes:Linda Sue Park 4.8 starsReally fantastic. Intricate, interweaving of story lines with a great "hook". Hard to believe a story this nearly perfect was written as an excercise. Amazing.M. T. Anderson 4.7 starsVery nearly my favourite story of the collection with a great twist ending sure to blow the minds of young readers. A perfect match to the illustration.Kate DiCamail...
  • Rosa
    I loved this book."The Third-Floor Bedroom": One of Kate DiCamillo's beautiful stories, combining joy and anguish in the way she does."Captain Tory": A story with a happy ending. There should be more stories like this."Another Place, Another Time": This is the story for the picture. No other story could match so perfectly. It's a moving tale of family love, quests, and friendship. And of all the time we had in childhood, and the imagination, and ...
  • Mary
    More like 3.8 stars...I'd "read" the original book by Chris van Allsburg years ago, and was really excited to see that some of my favorite authors had written stories to go along with the fabulous illustrations. Some of the stories were great: Another Place, Another Time by Cory Doctorow about parallel universes; Mr. Linden's Library by Walter Dean Myers about the power of books. Some were really good - I particularly enjoyed the fantasies: The H...
  • -k The Lady Critic
    When I was in grade 5 or 6 (some time in the late ‘90s) my teacher decided that we were going to do a literary unit on Chris Van Allsburg. The weeks that followed had us reading Jumanji, The Z was Zapped, The Polar Express, and every other Van Allsburg book that we had available in our school library. With each book we did a project and the one that went with The Mysteries of Harris Burdick was my favourite. That’s because the project that we...
  • Steph
    I've owned this book for years; a gift from my awesome husband who knew I would be absolutely delighted to see the the illustrations of Harris Burdick come to life with stories by authors who I know and adore. This summer I finally sat down to read this gem only to discover that the stories were… Strange. Fantastical. Definitely for outside-of-the-box thinkers.I honestly enjoyed probably one story in this collection. (Props to Sherman Alexie's ...
  • Rebekah
    Short stories are often what stick in my head. So reading this for the second time was like turning a light on in my mind. Caterpillars that do math. Metal that invades houses. Ships in Venice. Fake pumpkins. These stories and pictures will randomly pop into my head, and often I have no idea where they are from. Now I do. My favourite stories are "Missing in Venice" by Gregory Maguire, "Just Desert" by M. T. Anderson, and "The House in Maple Stre...
  • Laurie
    I don't read a lot of short stories, but May is Short Story Month, and I typically put out a display at my library. This year, I decided I should take my own advice and read what I'm encouraging my patrons to read. So I chose this book which has long intrigued me. Unlike many people drawn to this book, I did not grow up with the original, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. I have no nostalgia for this work, but I can see how useful it would have be...
  • Steve
    The concept of this book is in direct opposition to the concept of the original. Also, the stories suck.
  • Jack Seigle
    This is one of the strangest books I have ever read, and I love it. Its ambiguous tone and direction, open ended statements, and beautiful art combine to form a very, very odd book. As a whole, each page offers its own statement and paired picture, both of which are mysterious, but nonetheless graspable and expandable. For example, there is an image of a boy and his dog, deep in a forest, looking down a modest river at what seems to be a golden h...
  • Sophie Hancock
    Amazing!!! Makes me want to read it again.
  • Cindy
    I’ve long loved wordless picture books - they set imagination free to make up the story anew with each reading. Van Allsburg is a Caldecott winning illustrator and writer, and decades after his wordless book (The Mysteries of Harris Burdick) 15 writers are challenged to tell the stories they found. I can’t wait to see what they saw. Introduction by Lemony Snicket Archie Smith, Boy Wonder by Tabitha King 8Under The Rug by Jon Scieszka 13A Stra...
  • ElphaReads
    I had never heard of the whole Harris Burdick concept until Katie picked this for her book club selection. Which is strange to me, because I feel like I should have heard of this super creative and kind of really awesome concept of Chris Van Allsburg publishing illustrations with captions next to them, and encouraging the audience to tell their own stories. Like I said, super creative. I really approve. The neat thing about this book is that it t...
  • Leslie
    Who has not had Chris Van Allsburg’s Mysteries of Harris Burdick used as a writing prompt—besides Sean? N and I were kicking around the idea of checking the book out from the library when I heard The Chronicles of Harris Burdick was coming out. I told Natalya she still should write her own inspired piece, but there was no having The Chronicles in the house without her getting a hold of it. It features some of her favorite authors.(11 for a wh...
  • Samantha
    [DNF] Ok I just totally stopped reading this book. There were two short stories in here that I loved [Sherman Alexie and Jon Scieseka] but after that I just kept reading stories that only half got me interested. After not caring about a few stories, I just stopped reading it all together.
  • Audrey
    When I taught middle school English, I used Chris Van Allburg's The Mysteries of Harris Burdick as short story prompts in my classroom. Once I stopped teaching, I brought my collection of prints home and now several of them hang in my house (I have "Mr. Linden's Library" in my office/bedroom, and Cami has "Oscar and Alphonse" in her room). When I found out that some of my favorite YA authors were going to be writing short stories to accompany the...
  • Nick
    One of the neater Chris Van Allsburg books is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, a collection of 14 images with cryptic captions (my favorite being the last one, a house blasting off with the title "It was a perfect lift off"). The idea is that you use the little cryptic caption and the picture and write a short story, or just let your imagination go wild. In this collection, fourteen authors are rounded up to write their own take on an image. This...
  • Sarah T.
    I came across this book while looking for a book club book for the adult literacy program I work for. The reading level and book length are on spot--I think this could be a good choice, although it would probably make a good book for October which has already passed. This book is essentially a companion book to "The Mysteries of Harris Burdick" which is a book with pictures, their titles, and short captions, and the reader is left to imagine the ...
  • Sophie
    I've been fascinated by The Mysteries of Harris Burdick since it was assigned reading in my third grade class. I think part of the fascination for me is that many of the illustrations and captions come close to forming a plot for me, but never quite fully form. (We will, of course, ignore the story I wrote based on "The House on Maple Street" for that third grade class, not least because one of the assignment requirements was that Harris Burdick ...
  • Marika
    Very very rarely, I will swoon over a book. Swoon-worthy books must not just be well-written, they have to be beautifully packed, or have exquisite illustration, mostly, all three. Four stories into The Chronicles of Harris Burdick I was already swooning. Mind you, this is the ARC, too, not the gorgeous hardcover that will be the best holiday gift when it hits shelves.What strikes me as I read- one story at a time, with space between each to savo...
  • Moira
    OMG, OMG, OMG!!!! I tend to pass on reviewing a lot of children's literature because I don't want to hurt feelings of people who may, if I ever publish another work of fiction, be in a position to review my work. But sometimes I read something that is so great that I have to tell the world. I have always adored The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg - a collection of incredible artwork with captions only. They are so inspiring. Now...