Chris Van Allsburg Biography
Birthday: June 18, 1949 (Gemini)
Born In: Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
Chris Van Allsburg is an American illustrator and children’s author who rose to popularity with his books ‘The Garden of Abdul Gasazi’, ‘The Polar Express’ and ‘Jumanji’. After graduating with an MFA in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design, Chris set up a sculpting studio. However, work was slow to come by and he began sketching in his free time. His wife encouraged him to illustrate for children’s books and soon enough Chris began writing his first book for children. In 1979, he published ‘The Garden of Abdul Gasazi’ and the book was a hit. He won several awards for this and has never had to look back since. His next hit came with his 1981 release of ‘Jumanji’, which won him the Caldecott Medal. In 1985, he published ‘The Polar Express’, another Caldecott Medal winner. The popular children’s book not only catapulted him to international fame, but it was also adapted for the big screen. Other popular books by Van Allsburg include ‘The Mysteries of Harris Burdick’, ‘Zathura’ and ‘Queen of the Falls.’ For his achievements to children’s literature, Chris Van Allsburg has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Michigan and the Regina Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Children’s Literature.