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Two-time Caldecott Award winning author/illustrator and Michigan native Chris Van Allsburg will be visiting the Book Beat on Wednesday, April 6 from 3-6 p.m. This is a rare chance to meet one of the truly great children’s book illustrators and a master storyteller. Van Allsburg won the Caldecott Medal for the Polar Express and Jumanji and a Caldecott Honor Award for his first book The Garden of Abdul Gasazi and received the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. He grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and currently lives in Rhode Island.
Van Allsburg’s latest creation, Queen of the Falls, tells the thrilling true story of Ms. Annie Edson Taylor, the first person to go over the Niagara Falls. Taylor was a 62-year-old retired charm school instructor living in Bay City. MI when she undertook the scheme for profit and fame, though both managed to elude her. This is Van Allsburg’s first work of non-fiction, but the strange tale fits his magical yet realistic style and comes marvelously to life.
“There is something decidedly fantastic and not quite real about Niagara Falls, about Annie’s adventure, and about the stories that can unfold when imagination, determination, and foolhardiness combine to set humans off in pursuit of their goals.” Review from FUSE #8
This is truly a special opportunity to meet Van Allsburg in a small, personal setting, and a great chance to get signed copies of his wonderful books. His books will be available for sale, including Queen of the Falls, a great new addition to his work. 3-6 p.m, Wednesday, April 6 on 2011 at the Book Beat, 26010 Greenfield Rd, Oak Park, MI 48237. For more information call 248-968-1190.