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Chris Van

Allburg. Biography. The Beginning. Chris was born in Grand Rapids Michigan USA on June 18. th. , 1949. . He grew up in an old farmhouse on . a . family run . dairy farm which also operated a creamery called the East End Creamery. Here, milk was turned into butter, cream, cottage cheese and ice cream. After the products were made, they were delivered to homes all over Grand Rapids in little yellow and blue trucks. .

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Chris Van






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Slide1

Chris Van Allburg BiographySlide2

The Beginning

Chris was born in Grand Rapids Michigan USA on June 18th

, 1949.

He grew up in an old farmhouse on

a

family run

dairy farm which also operated a creamery called the East End Creamery. Here, milk was turned into butter, cream, cottage cheese and ice cream. After the products were made, they were delivered to homes all over Grand Rapids in little yellow and blue trucks.

He grew up close to open fields, streams and ponds where he spent his boyhood catching minnows, frogs and watching fireflies at night. Slide3

As a TeenagerChris

went to the local high school but did not take art classes. He was interested more in science and math. He did enjoy drawing and art but at the time, there was a lot of peer pressure for boys his age to play football and

sports in his town and family.

However,

his true passion and interest was art. He was Slide4

College Years

He didn’t think he’d ever have a career in art but saw an opportunity to do so during his college interview. He had mentioned as an aside that he was interested in art during his interview.

The interviewer told him about the great art classes they offered at the University of Michigan.

Chris Van

Allsburg

saw his chance to finally do something he loved. The only problem was that he didn’t have art credits.

He charmed his way through the interview and got into the art program at the University of Michigan. Slide5

Start of Art Career

He majored in sculpture at the U of M where he learned resin molding and other techniques. He graduated with

honours

and got into Rhode Island School of Design where he earned his Masters of Fine Arts Degree

.

Take a look at this video clip about his time at RISD

In 1975 he graduated with his masters and set up a sculpture studio in Providence, RI.

He also got married to Lisa Morrison, whom he met four years earlier at the

University of Michigan.

Lisa was also an art student who had become and elementary art teacher in the Providence school system. Slide6

Becoming and Illustrator

He become well known for his sculptures in New York City and had several exhibitions. He continued to make drawings just for fun but he didn’t think that they were all that great. His friends, however, thought they were amazing.

His wife Lisa, encouraged him to submit his drawings to an editor to see if they could be used by other writers for children’s books.

The publishers and editors were so impressed by his drawings that they encouraged him to write the stories to go with the pictures.

The first book he published was the Garden of Abdul

Gasazi

, published in 1979. Slide7

Becoming an Illustrator

In 1980, he was awarded the coveted Caldecott Honor Medal for his first book and this marked a stunning debut into the world of children’s literature.

He went on to publish over 15 more books and and won Caldecott’s for

Jumanji

and

Polar Express

. Both of these books were also made into well loved movies.

Chris and Lisa became parents in 1991 when their daughter Sophia was born and then again in 1995 when their second daughter Anna was born. Slide8