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Chris Van Allsburg

Writer / Illustrator

Born: 18 June 1949
Birthplace: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Best known as:

The author of The Polar Express

Chris Van Allsburg won Caldecott Medals for his lavishly illustrated books Jumanji (1982) and The Polar Express (1986). Van Allsburg's books are known for their mysterious stories and whimsically dreamy images, all meticulously illustrated. He was one of the most prolific and successful children's illustrators of the 1980s and 1990s, and continued publishing books into the 21st century. His other books include Ben's Dream (1982), The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (1985), The Wretched Stone (1991), and Zathura, a follow-up to Jumanji, in 2001. His 2011 illustrated book Queen of the Falls retold the true story of Annie Edison Taylor, who went over Niagara Falls in a barrel on her 63rd birthday in 1901.

Extra credit:

Jumanji was made into a movie in 1995, starring Robin Williams and Kirsten Dunst... A holiday film based on The Polar Express was released in 2004, with Tom Hanks as the train's conductor.

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