The Polar Express
by Chris Van Allsburg

CHRIS VAN ALLSBURG BOOKLIST

Click here to download a PDF of a complete list of children’s books by Chris Van Allsburg

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Let your imagination roam! Chris Van Allsburg’s innovative, award-winning books capture the imagination, pique the senses, and amaze the mind.

  • Just a Dream 25th Anniversary Edition

    Publication Date: May 2015

    In this 25th anniversary edition of Just a Dream, travel with young Walter on a fantastical adventure as he travels—by way of his bed—into a polluted dreamscape world that wakes him up to a more eco-friendly way to live. Chris Van Allsburg’s pitch-perfect narrative, paired with his full-color pastel illustrations, renders this picture book a story that has stood the test of time. This anniversary edition includes bonus downloadable audio, read by Chris Van Allsburg and a stunning new jacket!

    Just a Dream 25th Anniversary Edition Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie

    Publication Date: November 2014

    From two-time Caldecott winner Chris Van Allsburg, creator of Jumanji and The Polar Express, comes a poignant story of one hamster’s struggle with destiny. Being a pet store hamster isn’t much fun for Sweetie Pie, but life in human homes proves downright perilous. As Sweetie Pie longingly gazes out of his cage at the squirrels frolicking in the trees, he wonders if he’ll ever have the chance to feel the wind in his fur. Van Allsburg’s expressive, soft-hued illustrations artfully capture a hamster’s-eye view of the wide and wonderful world where maybe, just maybe, Sweetie Pie could someday run free.
  • The Wreck of the Zephyr 30th Anniversary Edition

    Publication Date: November 2013

    • New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year
    • ALA Notable Book for Children
    • Booklist Editors’ Choice
    • IRA Teachers’ Choice

    In 1983, the Caldecott artist Chris Van Allsburg first invited young readers to consider the wreck of a small sailboat, up on a cliff, far above the crash of the surf. How could the Zephyr have made its way up there? And is it true that there was once a prideful boy determined to sail the skies despite a villager’s warning? Told as a story spun by a world-weary sailor, and illustrated with haunting, luminous, full-color pastels, The Wreck of the Zephyr takes on new life in this thirtieth-anniversary gift edition, complete with a new jacket and narration by the author available as a downloadable digital audio file. A dreamy cautionary tale for the ages.

    The Wreck of the Zephyr Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • The Chronicles of Harris Burdick

    Publication Date: October 2011

    For more than twenty-five years, the illustrations in the extraordinary Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg have intrigued and entertained readers of all ages. Thousands of children have been inspired to weave their own stories to go with these enigmatic pictures. Now we’ve asked some of our very best storytellers to spin the tales. Enter The Chronicles of Harris Burdick to read this incredible compendium of stories: mysterious, funny, creepy, poignant, these are tales you won’t soon forget.
  • Jumanji: 30th Anniversary Edition

    Publication date: October 2011

    • A 30th anniversary gift edition to celebrate the magic of Jumanji

    Thirty years ago, Peter and Judy first found the game – Jumanji – with the instructions that once the game is started, it must be finished or it will go on forever – and thirty years ago, with this same wonderment, readers found Jumanji, too. This special anniversary edition contains a CD of the renowned actor Robin Williams reading the timeless tale.

  • Queen of the Falls

    Publication date: April 2011

    At the turn of the nineteenth century, a retired sixty-two-year-old charm school instructor named Annie Edson Taylor, seeking fame and fortune, decided to do something that no one in the world had ever done before – she would go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. Come meet the Queen of the Falls and witness with your own eyes her daring ride!
  • Probuditi!

    Publication date: April 2011

    After a trip to see Lomax the Magnificent, Calvin and his friend Rodney try out their own hypnotizing machine on Calvin’s sister Trudy – who now thinks she’s a dog! Can Calvin undo the spell before his mother gets home? Can he remember the magic word? “Probuditi!”
  • Zathura

    Publication date: October 2002

    • New York Times Bestseller

    “Van Allsburg illustrates the surreal events in a grainy charcoal-black that seems to shimmer on a rough cream-colored background . . . with each new threat, the book seems to hold its breath.” —Publishers Weekly

    Zathura Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • Bad Day at Riverbend

    Publication date: October 1995

    • ALA Notable Book for Children

    “It’s a book that starts with one point of view and steps into another. The average bildungsroman accomplishes this kind of transition in several hundred pages: Van Allsburg does it in thirty-two.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

    Bad Day at Riverbend Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • The Sweetest Fig

    Publication date: October 1993

    • ALA Notable Book for Children
    • Booklist Editors’ Choice
    • School Library Journal, Best Books of the Year

    “Van Allsburg swings back into his most mystifying mode with this enigmatic, visually sophisticated tale . . . A significant achievement.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

    The Sweetest Fig Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • The Widow’s Broom

    Publication date: September 1992

    • ALA Notable Book for Children
    • Booklist Editors’ Choice
    • Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon Winner
    • Horn Book Fanfare Selection
    • IRA/CBC Children’s Choice
    • School Library Journal, Best Books of the Year

    A widow finds herself in possession of an extraordinary broom left by a witch who fell into the widow’s garden.

    The Widow’s Broom Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • The Wretched Stone

    Publication date: October 1991

    • IRA/CBC Children’s Choice

    “As always, Van Allsburg’s paintings are magnificent. Cool, clear colors, boldly executed, and unusual perspective accentuate the story’s mystery.” —Booklist

    The Wretched Stone Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • Two Bad Ants

    Publication date: October 1988

    • IRA/CBC Children’s Choice

    “Children will be fascinated by the ant-eye view that Van Allsburg provides of common everyday items.” —Booklist

    Two Bad Ants Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • The Z Was Zapped

    Publication date: October 1987

    • ALA Notable Book for Children
    • Booklist Editors’ Choice

    A dramatic black-and- white presentation of the alphabet in which the three-time Caldecott medalist depicts a mysterious transformation of each letter.

    The Z Was Zapped Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • The Stranger

    Publication date: October 1986

    • Horn Book Fanfare Selection
    • New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year

    “How marvelous that this master painter and storyteller has added a new dimension to his consistently original and enchanting body of work.” —New York Times Book Review

    The Stranger Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

    Publication date: September 1984

    • ALA Notable Book for Children
    • Booklist Editors’ Choice
    • Boston Globe/Horn Book Award
    • Horn Book Fanfare Selection
    • New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year

    “His remarkable pictures suggest mysterious worlds unseen but impending.” —People

    The Mysteries of Harris Burdick Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • Ben’s Dream

    Publication date: October 1982

    • New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year
    • ALA Notable Book for Children

    “[Van Allsburg’s] skill in the lost art and subtle fine points of sculptural line drawing is nothing less than remarkable.” —Art Express

    Ben’s Dream Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version

  • The Garden of Abdul Gasazi

    Publication date: October 1979

    • Caldecott Honor Book 1980
    • New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year
    • Boston Globe–Horn Book Award
    • ALA Notable Book for Children
    • Reading Rainbow Review Book
    • First book by Chris Van Allsburg

    “This is without question one of the best — and most original — picture books in years.” —New York Times Book Review

    The Garden of Abdul Gasazi Discussion Guide: HTML Version | PDF Version