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Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Story-Filled Afternoon

I waited in anxious anticipation this afternoon at St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater for three chairs on the stage to be occupied by some of my favorite people. The middle chair was for Cathy Wurzer, host of MPR's Morning Edition. The other two were for Chris Van Allsburg and Kate DiCamillo. They chatted about Harris Burdick, that incredibly talented, elusive, mysterious stranger made famous by Mr. Van Allsburg back in 1984. They shared the story of how The Chronicles of Harris Burdick came into being. Kate and Chris each read parts of the stories they contributed to the volume. Kate's epistolary story, told from the perspective of a young girl named Pearlie, accompanies "The Third Floor Bedroom" for which Harris Burdick's caption reads as follows: It all began when someone left the window open. I love that illustration and wrote my own version many years ago. Chris's story, based on the illustration for "Oscar and Alphonse", introduces readers to a little-known scientific theory called "The Farkas Conjecture" and provides quite an entertaining view of just how those caterpillars in her hand could spell. They followed the reading with more stories about their stories, giving me lots of things to share with the students when we return from Thanksgiving break.


  1. Oh, I was so hoping to attend this event (I even had a pair of complimentary tickets) but in the end I chose to stay home and work on my current book project. I will rely on you, Julie, to fill me in even further when next we meet.

  2. Wow! I heard about this event from their editor, Margaret Raymo, who was flying from NCTE to Minneapolis to attend.