Thursday, February 7, 2013

I crown you...King Illustrator!

Congratulations, CHRIS VAN ALLSBURG!

After 6 long and suspenseful weeks, we have a winner in our 75th Anniversary Caldecott Medal Illustrator Voting Tournament!

You voted, you sweated over impossible decisions, you got a crick in your neck from staring back and forth trying to decide whose illustrations were better. But all that effort was worth it, you can unclench your hands now, for our quite-deserving winner is Chris Van Allsburg - two time Caldecott Medalist, and apparent fan-favorite of SLPL patrons everywhere!

Mr. Van Allsburg has illustrated such well-loved classics as The Polar Express, Jumanji, and Zathura (all three made into popular movies), The Garden of Adbul Gasazi, Probuditi!, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, as well as many other beautiful books. His illustrations are famous for their use of perspective, and are often drawn from a child's point-of-view. Can't you imagine yourself as a child sitting on the floor with the boys from Zathura?

Interestingly, Mr. Van Allsburg claims he never knew he wanted to be an artist until college, where he received a Master's degree in sculpture. Check out his bronze sculpture of the Titanic sinking.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1949, Mr. Van Allsburg now lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife and daughters. He works from a studio on the top floor of his house and continues to astound children and their parents everywhere with his imaginative and detailed illustrations and stories. Visit his website for more info.

So how did he do it, you may ask. How did he manage to beat out 49 other world-famous illustrators to become #1? Let's take a walk along the trajectory path of his ride to glory at SLPL. 
We had a total of 131 votes in our voting tournament, over a period of 6 weeks. Great job, guys! Thanks for participating! Chris Van Allsburg beat out Jon Agee in the 1st round, ran all over Ian Falconer in the 2nd round, scooted by Leo Lionni in the 3rd round and Shel Silverstein in the 4th round. In the 5th and final round, it was quite a nail-biter. Scraping past Jan Brett and Beatrix Potter, Chris Van Allsburg slid into home base for the win! 

If you would like to hear Mr. Van Allsburg talk about his life as an artist, check out these video interviews.

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