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Queen of the Fallsby Chris Van Allsburg
Synopses & Reviews
She had visited the Falls as a child and could remember, clearly, the thundering waters and crowds of people drawn to them. She could remember standing in a park near the Falls, hypnotized by the sight and sound, and holding her fathers hand as they took a walk that would lead them closer. Thats what everyone wonders when they see Niagara…How close will their courage let them get to it? Well, sir, you cant get any closer than I got. At the turn of the nineteenth century, Annie Edson Taylor decided to do something no one in the world had ever done before: she would go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The sixty-two year old woman would perform one of the greatest feats in American history and this is precisely why they called her the Queen of the Falls. Mrs. Taylor, a short, plump, and fussy sixty-two year old widow, finds herself in Bay City, Michigan after her travels around America as a charm schoolteacher, teaching at her very own charm school, right by Niagara Falls. But when her charm school starts to fail, Annie needs a plan to keep from becoming penniless; a way to strike it rich and put her money worries behind her for good. After reading about Niagara Falls in a newspaper, she had an epiphany: shed find fame and fortune in being the first person to ever to go over the thundering waters of Niagara Falls.
"In 1901, 62-year-old widow Annie Edson Taylor needs 'a way to strike it rich' after closing her Michigan charm school. Spying an article about Niagara Falls as a tourist destination, she decides to become a popular attraction, too. She commissions a barrel 'big enough to hold herself and a large number of pillows,' hires a publicist, calls on reporters, and finds a boatman willing to tow her into the river. In his first book since 2006's Probuditi! Van Allsburg chronicles Taylor's determination along with public surprise (and disappointment) at such an unglamorous daredevil. In sepia-tinted portraits, Van Allsburg pictures her in a ruffled blouse, cameo brooch, and billowing skirt, her white hair swept under a dowdy hat. The book is impeccably designed; Van Allsburg's grainy, closely observed colored-pencil scenes mimic documentary photos and are beautifully balanced by blocks of text. There is one full-bleed spread: the falls after the barrel has disappeared. In this unromantic and bittersweet account, Van Allsburg presents the feat as born as much out of need as of courage, with Taylor portrayed as a hardheaded eccentric and an unlikely queen. Ages 6 — 9. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Since its publication in 1985, Chris Van Allsburgs holiday classic has sold more than four million copies and has come to signify the essential spirit of Christmas for countless readers. Now, in celebration of its fifteenth anniversary, THE POLAR EXPRESS is available in a deluxe gift set, beautifully packaged and featuring a dramatic new reading of the timeless tale. The set includes a hardcover copy of the Caldecott Awardwinning book, recordings of the story on both cassette and compact disc, and a commemorative ornament designed by Chris Van Allsburg. Readers young and old are sure to treasure this inspiring book, which brings to life the magic of Christmas for all who believe.
On the last page of the Caldecott-winning book Jumanji, young Danny Budwing is seen running after his brother, Walter, with a game tucked under his arm. Now after twenty years, Chris Van Allsburg is ready to reveal what happens when Danny and Walter roll the dice. This time the name of the game is Zathura and the battling Budwing boys are in for the ride of their lives.
Zathura unleashes intergalactic challenges that require even the quarreling Budwing brothers to work as a team.
Zathura hit bestseller lists when it was first published in 2002 and it's sure to visit them again this fall, along with an exciting selection of six movie tie-in editions when Zathura blasts into movie theatres nationwide!
About the Author
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 Book 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 childrens literature. In 1982, Jumanji was nominated for a National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film. Chris Van Allsburg was formerly an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and two children.
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