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Chris Van Allsburg

author, illustrator

One of the world’s most beloved children’s book author/illustrators, Chris Van Allsburg has delighted millions with classics such as The Polar Express, winner of the 1986 Caldecott Medal now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Jumanji, also a Caldecott Medal winner, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, a Caldecott Honor winner, Zathura, The Widow’s Broom, and many others. His carbon pencil and charcoal illustrations combined with captivating storylines are neither simplistic nor formulaic, but rather fascinating, mysterious, and occasionally menacing, always attempting to answer the question "What if?" What if a boy awoke one night to find a massive steam engine in front of his house? What if a roll of the dice on a simple board game could actually bring the game to life? What if a witch had to retire her flying broom? Three of his books, Jumanji (1995), The Polar Express (2004) and Zathura (2005), have been made into blockbuster feature films and both The Widow's Broom and The Sweetest Fig are in development for the big screen. Chris was formerly an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. He currently lives in Rhode Island with his wife and two children.