You many have been wondering why, in a blog that celebrates the work of great children’s book illustrators, I have waited until now to write about Chris Van Allsburg. He is, after all, one of the most brilliant illustrators of the 20th and 21st century. An illustrator whose work, like Lisbeth Zwerger, has become synonymous with classic children’s literature. The reasons are not mysterious. I have a lot of books, including most of Chris Van Allsburg’s titles, so the queue is long. Also, while most illustrators live in obscurity, Van Allsburg is a bona fide star, thanks to the Jumanji and The Polar Express films (5 second review~get the books.) There is no particular urgency to ‘lift the veil’ on an artist whose work is well known and well loved.
Simply put, I waited until October because The Widow’s Broom is Chris Van Allsburg’s one and only Halloween book, and it is second only to The Polar Express in my esteem. And now, finally, the time has come to say a few words about a fallen witch, a flying bull-terrier, and a dose of justice delivered by a crafty old lady and an enchanted broom.