Chris Van Allsburg



Jobs And
His Life

Writing And Illustrating

Ideas For Authors




Chris Van Allsburg was born on June 18, 1949.

Chris lived in a small house in Michigan. He liked to go sledding and play baseball. He rode his bike to school.

In school, Chris loved to draw. But most boys did not draw, they played football. So Chris spent most of his time playing football instead of drawing.


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Job and Life

Chris Van Allsburg’s first job was making sculptures. When he was home at night, Chris would draw pictures.

Chris loves to solve puzzles and mysteries.

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Writing and Illustrating

Chris Van Allsburg’s wife showed some of his drawings to a friend. The friend liked them so much he told Chris to put them in a book.

Chris’ first book was called The Garden of Abdul Gasazi . It won a special medal called the Caldecott Honor. Click on the book title to see more about this book.

Chris has written and illustrated 15 books.

He has won two Caledecott Medals.

Here is a list of his books.

You can see the covers and read about the books by clicking on each title.


One of Chris’ most famous books is a Christmas story called The Polar Express. It is about a young boy who gets a special gift from Santa.

Click on the tape to see and hear the first page of the story.


One of Chris’ books was made into a movie. It is called Jumanji. It is about two kids playing a game. They get into different kinds of trouble. Click on the book to see more about Jumanji .


 When Chris draws his pictures, he uses pencils and pens. Some of his books have black and white pictures. Other books have colored pictures. Chris draws pictures that look like everyday things. But, these pictures also have a mystery in them.

Chris often draws his dog, Fritz, somewhere in his books. In some books, Fritz is a real dog. In one book, Fritz is a puppet. Click on Fritz to read more about him.


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Ideas For Authors

Chris Van Allsburg says that good stories should make readers THINK about the end of the story.


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