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We've all come up with our own stories to the mysterious illustrations of Harris Burdick, and now some of the world's greatest storytellers have used their imaginations to bring them to life...

This inspired collection of short stories is based on the original illustrations of Chris Van Allsburg in his much-loved picture book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, and features many remarkable best-selling authors from the worlds of both adult and children's literature: Stephen King, Lemony Snicket, Sherman Alexie, M.T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Cory Doctorow, Jules Feiffer, Tabitha King, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, Walter Dean Myers, Linda Sue Park, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka and Chris Van Allsburg himself.


Fourteen curious, teasing, sometimes humorous and sometimes dark stories . . . create an extraordinary whole that offers new interpretations of the pictures while still leaving room to wonder.

Julia Eccleshare, Guardian

A beautifully produced, compelling book.

NIcolette Jones, Sunday Times, Book of the Week

Each contribution has its own telltale flavor of menace, leaving readers to discover their favourites...In life, it seems, as in this beguiling book, no one ever really gets the last word.

New York Times (Editor's Choice)


Daniel Hahn, Independent on Sunday, Best Books of the Year

Van Allsburg’s haunting and evocative monochrome illustrations provide starting points for the appropriately eerie, often macbre narratives.

Irish Times

Simply breath taking . . . a collection that does justice to the seductive power of the illustrations themselves

Books for Keeps (Book of the Week)

A true celebration of story telling. At times humourous, occasionally spine-tingling and often unpredictable, this book is a gift for anyone who loves a good story.

The Bookseller

Unpredictable, imaginative and thought-provoking, this is a diverse and suitably mysterious collection


Eerie and wonderful. Strange and unpredictable.

School Library Journal

Engaging with strokes of brilliance.


Funny, sinister, and touching...This collection promises to inspire many more children to revisit Van Allsburg's striking scenes.


Strange...odd...fantastic. There's not a bad story in the bunch.

Horn Book

It was a stroke of genius to assign this exercise to some of today's best-known writers for young people

Wall Street Journal

They will all haunt you.

Shelf Awareness

Has taken on a life of its own...a potent reminder of the brilliance of Van Allsburg's original creation.

School Library Journal

This beautifully produced collection will be very popular.

The Bookseller

This star-studded exercise in creative writing tests the wits of favorite authors and shows readers how even the big shots hone their craft.

Publishers Weekly

Will entertain teens who remember reading The Mysteries of Harris Burdick or those seeking to read a quality, quick science fiction or fantasy story.


Likely to be an audience for this book, within most school libraries.

The School Librarian

Richly imagined stories peopled with intriguing characters moving through thoughtful plot arcs...Well done, all.

The Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books

Useful as a tool for cross curricular working between Art departments, English departments and the library too.

The School Librarian

All provide novel and new insights to the mysterious illustrations that have captivated Van Allsburg fans for decades.

The Wall Street Journal Book Review

Wildly imaginative...a delight


This great book would delight children, making them question the very fabric of the world around them.

Children's Books Ireland, INIS

Well written stories for anyone who fancies a short read.

Teen Titles

Often slightly chilling and spooky these will appeal to 9 - young teenaged children.

Four Shires Magazine

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    October 29, 2018


    236 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

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