THE MYSTERIES OF HARRIS BURDICK by Chris Van Allsburg

THE MYSTERIES OF HARRIS BURDICK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Ostensibly, a man named Harris Burdick left these 14 eerie, enigmatically-captioned pictures--e.g., ""ARCHIE SMITH, GRADE ONE A tiny voice asked, 'Is he the one?'""--at a publisher's, to be found by Van Allsburg: some adult make-believe that kids may very much take to. And they're surely likely to take up the invitation to imagine the stories that ""went with"" the illustrations. ""Archie Smith, Grade One"" is asleep in bed--sailboat above headboard, bat leaning on window ledge--as mysterious blobs of light come in through the open window. There are shades of Victorian hugger-muggery: ""MR. LINDEN'S LIBRARY He had warned her about the book. Now it was too late""--accompanies a girlish figure on whose limp arm rests a book open to reveal a deadly weed. There are some pure apparitions, too--like the monstrous ocean liner heading into a Venetian canal. It's actually a good use of Van Allsburg's penchant for just such somber pictorial mystification, very much in the spirit of old-time tantalizers as well.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1984
ISBN: 0395827841
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin