Harris Burdick
Home Up Just Desert Kasey's Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The "Solved" Mysteries of Harris Burdick

 

by Chris Van Allsburg 

Chris Van Allsburg came across the pictures of Harris Burdick through a friend, Peter Wenders. Apparently, Burdick presented the pictures with their titles and captions to Wenders in hopes that Wenders would be interested in purchasing the stories that accompanied the illustrations. Wenders was intrigued by the pictures and asked Burdick to submit the corresponding stories the next day. However, Wenders never heard from Harris Burdick again, so the "true" stories behind the pictures were never revealed.

Students have been asked to consider one of the images, its title and its caption and then to propose a possible story that tells what happened before and after the corresponding image.

The images below are "thumbnail" photos. Click on the image  to get a full-sized picture.

Source: Van Allsburg, Chris, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston: Massachusetts (1984)

 

         

Archie Smith, Boy Wonder


A tiny voice asked, "Is he the one?"

 

     

UNDER THE RUG

_________________

Two weeks passed and it happened again.

 

 

 

      

A STRANGE DAY IN JULY

____________________

He threw with all his might, but the

third stone came skipping back.

 

           Kasey's Story

          Connor's Story

          Mitchell's Story

 

   

MISSING IN VENICE

_________________

Even with her mighty engines in reverse,

the ocean liner was pulled further and

further into the canal.

 

 

 

        

ANOTHER PLACE, ANOTHER TIME

_____________________________

If there was an answer, he'd find it there.

 

 

     

UNINVITED GUESTS

___________________

His heart was pounding.

He was sure he had seen the doorknob turn.

 

         Andrew's Story

 

 

 

      

THE HARP

__________

So it's true he thought, it's really true.

Jenny's Story

 

 

 

 

MR. LINDEN'S LIBRARY

___________________

He had warned her about the book.

Now it was too late.

       Kelton's  Story

 

 

     

THE SEVEN CHAIRS

_________________

The fifth one ended up in France.

 

 

     

THE THIRD-FLOOR BEDROOM

_____________________

It all began when someone left

the window open.

 

 

 

 

              

JUST DESERT

______________

She lowered the knife and

it grew even brighter.

      Ashtin's Story

  

            

OSCAR AND ALPHONSE

_____________________

She knew it was time to send them back.

The caterpillars softly wiggled in her hand,

spelling out "goodbye".

 

 

 

           

THE HOUSE ON MAPLE STREET

____________________

It was a perfect lift-off.

 

                 

 

              

CAPTAIN TORY

_______________

He swung his lantern

 three times and slowly the schooner appeared.