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Thalia Kids Book Club: Chris Van Allsburg's the Chronicles of Harris Burdick
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 12/04/2011 at Symphony Space.

Chris Van Allsburg, the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, talks about a new short story collection in which skilled storytellers such as Kate DiCamillo, Stephen King and Sherman Alexie spin imaginative tales inspired by the original illustrations from his 1984 wordless classic, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.  Story contributor Jon Scieszka joins the conversation and performs his story "Under the Rug."

+ About the Artists

Madeline Cohen has been Symphony Space's Education Director since 1989, and involved in arts education since 1978. She directs the Curriculum Arts Project (CAP) and the Global Arts Program, which gives thousands of students insight into the social studies curriculum through interaction with the arts and artists in the classroom, at museums and at Peter Norton Symphony Space. She co-organizes Symphony Space's All Write! program for adult literacy students modeled after Symphony Space's signature literary series, Selected Shorts, and is the co-director of the Thalia Book Club Camp, launched in July 2009. She is also a costume designer.

Jon Scieszka was born in Flint, Michigan and earned a bachelor’s degree in writing from Albion College and a master of fine arts degree from Columbia University. He held a number of teaching positions before taking a year off to develop ideas for children’s books. He is the author of several bestselling children’s titles, including The Stinky Cheese Man, which won a Caldecott Honor medal, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and the Time Warp Trio, a chapter book series. Scieszka is the founder of Guy’s Read, a nonprofit literacy organization. He was appointed the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in January 2008. The third book in his latest series Spaceheadz was released in September.

Chris Van Allsburg is the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, as well as the recipient of a Caldecott Honor Award for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children, he has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children's literature. In 1982, Jumanji won the National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film starring Tom Hanks. Chris Van Allsburg was formerly an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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