May 24, 2010


I'm exhausted from staying up late to watch the series finale of Lost. Whether or not you loved the show - or the finale - you have to admit it was a unique cultural phenomenon. What made Lost so successful? Other than a wonderful cast and excellent writing, it was the mystery that infused every episode.  Mystery allows our imaginations to run free, to fill in the gaps, to wonder, to explore.

If you have a few minutes, listen to this TED talk about mystery by Lost creator J.J.Abrams:

Children are naturally curious and drawn to mysteries. Artist and author Chris Van Allsburg knows this and celebrates it in his extraordinary book:

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg

He had warned her about the book.
Now it was too late.

This unique book opens with a letter to the reader explaining that the following 14 illustrations and captions were sent to the publisher by Harris Burdick who was never heard from again. Children are encouraged to look through these incredible pictures, read the illustrations and dream of the stories they hide.

The fifth one ended up in France.

I found this book in high school, but over a decade later I am still intrigued and inspired by these pictures and captions. I was tempted to ask E to tell me the story behind one or two of these pictures, but I don't want to ruin the magic of the mystery with an assignment. Rather, I'm going to place this book on the shelf... for her to discover on her own.

It all began when someone left the window open...

What books do you love that inspire imagination?

1 comment:

  1. I had forgotten about this book! I first read it during my student teaching semester--thanks for reminding me, I need to find a copy for us!


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