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4.8 out of 5 stars51
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 19 June 1998
I noticed this book is recommended for ages 4-8. My 10-year old son, who normally reads adult sci-fi fantasy by the likes of Piers Anthony and David Eddings, found this book in his school library last year and fell in love with it! It's so much more than just a book. The pictures are so rich and full of detail, your child (and maybe even you!) will sit for hours making up stories to match the mysteries. If you're looking for an educational gift that's not too "nerdy", this is the book to buy.
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on 15 September 1998
The illustrations are so captivating and evocative that even the most die-hard non-creative has to start using the right brain. I've used this book as a tool to jump-start creative brainstorming sessions as well as a tool to teach creative writing to adults.
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on 7 January 1999
I am 21 years old and could not be more excited to find this book again! My uncle read to me and my cousins all the time when we were children. This book along with The Polar Express, The Wreck of the Zephyr, and Jumanji became one of our favorites! I had no idea until now that they were all the same author. The Mysteries of Harris Burdick was especially fascinating. Because only pictures with captions are provided we gazed at this book for hours, imagining all the possibilities. I strongly urge parents to buy this book and others by Van Allsburg. I feel that they all encourage reading, and this book in particular encourages the imagination. Though I haven't seen or read his books in years, I still remember them as if I read them yesterday.
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on 7 October 1998
I bought this book a few years ago, when I was 22. It is a fantastic vehicle for imagination. I was drawn in immediately by the eerie drawings and mysterious captions. Brilliant. Edward Gorey fans take notice.
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on 2 February 2012
I really like this book. I think the idea and concept is by far inspirational. I am a bit disappointed at the finish of the actual book. I was made aware of this book by an educational tutor's copy. This copy seems to have been published using an on line service printer. the images are not as clear or with the proper contrast to the copy I had viewed owned by the tutor. When I went to compare the two there was a considerable difference in image quality.
In saying this though, the copy I have received cost considerably less then what they paid for their copy. apart from the back having a defect in it, the whole book is well put together.
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on 26 November 2000
the pictures in this book have given me the inspiration for sixteen different short stories that i have written. the introduction tells of the strange way in which the author came to be in possesion of the brilliant drawings and they simply make your imagination wander.
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on 23 June 1998
I am seventeen years old and a regular reader of high literature, i.e. Beloved, Of Human Bondage, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Stories of John Cheever, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. My interests rarely travel off the beaten literary path, but one of my favorite books of all time, to this day, is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. It is a magical book, and its rich drawings impress themselves on your memory, so theat the first time you read it, it becomes an eternal testament to creativity and the power of the imagination. I will never forget this book as long as I live, and I also rest assured in the fact that it can never be disgraced by being adapted to the big screen. Just as George Orwell's Animal Farm should never have been animated, neither should this. It is too brilliant, and too lasting aleady as a book. Every child in the world should be issued a copy of Chris Van Allsbvurg's poetic masterpiece at birth. It's as simple as that. So, parents, if you are taking this book into consideration for your child, don't hesitate. BUY IT NOW. It is well worth the 20.00 for a lifetime of imagination.
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on 2 February 1999
My seventh grade language arts teacher has used this book as an important tool in our writing skills and encourages us to write about a paragraph for each caption one a day. I think this book is extremely interesting and you could spend hours just thinking of stories to write about or tell to others. I think this book would be great for little kids;it would keep them busy for a long time. It's good for adults, too.
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on 14 December 2007
Came across this book a while ago and have been after a copy for a while. This particular item is the portfolio edition, in other words roughly A3 sized pictures on cardboard with a mysterious caption for each one underneath.

The drawings are superb and each caption makes you ask all sorts of questions, sparking off a million thoughts in your imagination as to what the story could be. A truly fantastic resource for teachers as a writing stimulus for children in KS2, and the good thing about these is that you can trim half a centimetre of each side and laminate them in A3 pouches to keep them looking really excellent. I've used them several times already and the children love them and find them really helpful in giving them ideas of what to write about.

This is so excellent I'm even contemplating buying a second set and getting each one framed!
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on 31 July 1997
As an English teacher I am always looking for new and exciting ways to inspire creativity in my students. Van Allsburg's book has been one of the best writing prompts I have ever used. The unusual, thought provoking, black and white sketches along with their mysterious quotations inspire writers of all ages...even the principal who was a former shop teacher!
The best part of the book is the "mysterious" letter on the opening page that explains the existence...and the mystery of the pictures. I usually read the letter to my class, flash the pictures from the front of the room, and then create a writing station during other small group activities. The book is always very popular with my eighth graders. Ten copies of the book would be too few!
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