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Chris Van Allsburg facts for kids

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Chris Van Allsburg
Van Allsburg in 2011
Van Allsburg in 2011
Born (1949-06-18) June 18, 1949 (age 75)
East Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Writer, illustrator
Alma mater University of Michigan
Rhode Island School of Design
Genre Children's picture books
Notable works
Notable awards Caldecott Medal
1982, 1986
Lisa Van Allsburg
(m. 1974)
Children 2

Chris Van Allsburg (born June 18, 1949) is an American writer and illustrator of children's books. He has won two Caldecott Medals for U.S. picture book illustration, for Jumanji (1981) and The Polar Express (1985), both of which he also wrote, and were later adapted as successful motion pictures. He was also a Caldecott runner-up in 1980 for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. For his contribution as a children's illustrator, he was a 1986 U.S. nominee for the biennial International Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international recognition for creators of children's books. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Michigan in April 2012.

Life and career

Van Allsburg was born on June 18, 1949, to a Dutch family in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, the second child of Doris Christianen and Richard Van Allsburg. He has an older sister named Karen, born in 1947. Van Allsburg and his family lived in an old farmhouse, but when he was three years old, they moved to a Grand Rapids home near an elementary school so that Chris was able to walk to class. His family moved again to East Grand Rapids where he attended middle school and high school.

Van Allsburg attended the College of Architecture and Design at the University of Michigan, which at that time included an art school. He majored in sculpture, learning bronze casting, wood carving, resin molding, and other techniques.

Van Allsburg graduated from the University of Michigan in 1972 and continued his education at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), graduating with a master's degree in sculpture in 1975. After graduation, Van Allsburg set up a sculpture studio.

Van Allsburg struggled for a time with his sculpture studio. At home, Van Allsburg began a series of sketches that his wife Lisa thought would be suitable for children's books. She showed his work to an editor who contracted his first book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, in 1979.

As of 2022, Van Allsburg has written and/or illustrated 21 books. His art has also been featured on the covers of an edition of C. S. Lewis's series The Chronicles of Narnia, published by HarperCollins in 1994, as well as in three children's books written by Mark Helprin.

Personal life

Van Allsburg lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with his wife Lisa. They have two daughters, Sophia and Anna. Van Allsburg converted to Judaism, his spouse's faith.


Picture children's books:



See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Chris Van Allsburg para niños

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