Literary Birthday – 18 June – Chris Van Allsburg

Happy Birthday, Chris Van Allsburg, born 18 June 1949.


  1. An award does not change the quality of a book.
  2. Some people may contend that there is no image more charming that a child holding a puppy or kitten. But for me that’s a distant second. When I see a child clutching a book… to his or her tiny bosom, I’m moved. Children can possess a book in a way they can never possess a video game, a TV show, or a Darth Vader doll. A book comes alive when they read it. They give it life themselves by understanding it.
  3. I write for what’s left of the eight-year-old still rattling around inside my head.
  4. The inclination to believe in the fantastic may strike some as a failure in logic, or gullibility, but it’s really a gift. A world that might have Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster is clearly superior to one that definitely does not.
  5. I don’t think ordinary things are very interesting, so I try to imagine a world that is less ordinary.
  6. I’ve always thought of the book as a visual art form, and it should represent a single artistic idea, which it does if you write your own material.
  7. The opportunity to create a small world between two pieces of cardboard, where time exists yet stands still, where people talk and I tell them what to say, is exciting and rewarding.

Chris Van Allsburg is an American author and illustrator of children’s books. He won the Caldecott Medal for Jumanji and The Polar Express, both of which he wrote and illustrated, and both of which were adapted for film.

Source for quotes

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 18th June 2013