The inspiring and mysterious drawings of Harris Burdick

Dec 7, 2011

For more than twenty-five years, readers have puzzled over the mysterious Harris Burdick. Here’s the legend: a man walks into a publishing house and drops off a set of 14 drawings…each with a tantalizing caption. He promises to return the next day with stories to accompany them, but is never seen again. The illustrations are eerie and unsettling…birds fly off wallpaper, a seated nun hovers placidly mid-air in a cathedral, a giant cruise ship plows through a venetian canal.  Since then, thousands of school children have written stories sparked by these illustrations. A collection of great writers follow suit, creating narratives for the evocative images in a new book, called “The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: 14 Amazing Authors Tell The Tales”. One of them is Chris Van Allsburg.  In this segment, the author and illustrator of “The Polar Express” and “Jumanji” tells us more about the history of the mysterious drawings, and the creations they’ve inspired.


NY Times review of  “The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: 14 Amazing Authors Tell The Tales”