Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What to Read Wednesday

I will never forget the first time I saw the images from The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg.  I was co-teaching at the time and I walked into the reading classroom to find these beautiful over-sized prints posted along the chalkboard.  The students filed in as usual, set down, and Ms. Snyder began to read from her copy of the book.  A hush fell over the room.  It was magical.  After she finished with the introductory letter the students got to move from station to station and examine each of the images.  Their task?  To craft their own story inspired by the Burdick drawings.  An assignment that I imagine has been repeated throughout the country in classroom after classroom over the past 17 years.  

I can also remember when I saw the marketing ad for The Chronicles of Harris Burdick.  Honestly, it felt a bit like Christmas morning (I may have even jumped up and down in my seat).  Finally, a gift to teachers and readers everywhere whose imaginations were sparked by those original fourteen drawings.  Fourteen stories by fourteen different authors--all inspired by the haunting images I fell in love with 15 years ago.  I could hardly wait to purchase a copy for the library.  And now that it's here, I can hardly wait to pour over each page and lose myself in someone else's magical world.

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