Sometimes that very thin line between illusion and reality is not as clearly defined as we would like it to be. It certainly wasn’t the day that Alan Mitz stumbled into the garden of Abdul Gasazi. For in this bizarre and eerie place — where strange topiary trees loomed — the evil visage of Gasazi casts its shadow. And even after Alan escaped, the spell of Gasazi still seemed to penetrate into his everyday world. In this extraordinary, unusual, and unique picture book, Chris Van Allsburg explores both the real and surreal worlds with incredible deftness. In doing so, he has created exquisite and beautiful images that will continue to haunt readers long after they have left the enchanted garden of Abdul Gasazi.
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 children’s 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 is a former instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. Visit him at chrisvanallsburg.com.