The Garden of Abdul Gasazi

( 11 )

Overview


Sometimes that very thin line between illusion and reality is not as clearly defined as we would like it to be. It certainly wasn't the day that Alan Mitz stumbled into the garden of Abdul Gasazi. For in this bizarre and eerie place -- where strange topiary trees loomed -- the evil visage of Gasazi casts its shadow. And even after Alan escaped, the spell of Gasazi still seemed to penetrate into his everyday world. In this extraordinary, unusual, and unique picture book, Chris Van Allsburg explores both the real ...
See more details below
Hardcover (Library Binding - None)
$17.05
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$18.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (41) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $6.56   
  • Used (27) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview


Sometimes that very thin line between illusion and reality is not as clearly defined as we would like it to be. It certainly wasn't the day that Alan Mitz stumbled into the garden of Abdul Gasazi. For in this bizarre and eerie place -- where strange topiary trees loomed -- the evil visage of Gasazi casts its shadow. And even after Alan escaped, the spell of Gasazi still seemed to penetrate into his everyday world. In this extraordinary, unusual, and unique picture book, Chris Van Allsburg explores both the real and surreal worlds with incredible deftness. In doing so, he has created exquisite and beautiful images that will continue to haunt readers long after they have left the enchanted garden of Abdul Gasazi.

When the dog he is caring for runs away from Alan into the forbidden garden of a retired dog-hating magician, a spell seems to be cast over the contrary dog.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is without question one of the best -- and most original -- picture books in years." The New York Times
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395278048
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/1979
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: None
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 88,760
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.75 (w) x 9.63 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Van Allsburg is the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, as well as the recipient of a Caldecott Honor Book for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children, he has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. In 1982, Jumanji was nominated for a National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film. Chris Van Allsburg was formerly an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and two children.

Biography

Multiple Caldecott Medal winner Chris Van Allsburg grew up in the 1950s in and around Grand Rapids, Michigan. He majored in sculpture at the University of Michigan's College of Architecture & Design and graduated in 1972. He received his M.F.A. in 1975 from Rhode Island School of Design.

After graduate school, Van Allsburgh set up a sculpture studio in Providence, married and settled in the area, and began exhibiting his work in New York City and throughout New England. Around the same time, he became interested in drawing. His wife, Lisa, encouraged him to pursue children's book illustration, putting him in contact with her friend David Macauley, a successful artist and author. Macauley's editor at Houghton Mifflin was impressed by Van Allsburgh's work and advised him to try his hand at illustrating a story of his own. His maiden effort, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, was published in 1979 and received a Caldecott Honor Medal.

Since that auspicious beginning, Van Allsburgh has gone on to produce a string of wonderfully inventive, critically acclaimed, and award-winning books. He gathers inspiration from unlikely quarters -- the progress of ants across a kitchen counter, crayon streaks in a child's coloring book, a children's board game come to life -- and executes his ideas on a provocative but surefire "What if..." principle.

Among his many awards are two Caldecott Medals -- one for Jumanji, written in 1982 and the other for 1985's The Polar Express; a National Book Award (also for Jumanji); and the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children's literature.

Good To Know

Van Allsburg's grandfather owned and operated the East End Creamery and delivered milk and milk products to homes around the Grand Rapids area in yellow and blue trucks.

One of Van Allsburg's childhood homes was a big, Tudor-styled house on a wide, tree-lined street. He used the street as a model for the cover art of what is arguably his most famous book, The Polar Express.

Because so many students at Van Allsburg's high school excelled academically, representatives from the University of Michigan would visit each year to interview interested seniors and admit them on the spot if they met qualifications. During his senior year, Van Allsburg was told about the art program affiliated with the University's College of Architecture & Design and thought it sounded like fun. Although he had never had any formal art classes, he fibbed to the admissions officer, saying he had taken private lessons outside of school.

Two of Van Allsburg's bestselling books, Jumanji and The Polar Express, were subsequently turned into blockbuster movies.

Van Allsburg is not your typical "feel good" children's author. He has been known to handle darker themes, and his stories often involve bizarre worlds and dreamscapes.

In all his stories, Van Allsburg inserts a little white bull terrier modeled after a real-life dog owned by his brother-in-law. (Another popular children's author, David Shannon, does the same thing, but Shannon's pup is a Westie!)

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Providence, Rhode Island
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 18, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Grand Rapids, Michigan
    1. Education:
      University of Michigan College of Architecture & Design, 1972; Rhode Island School of Design, MFA, 1975
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Was He Really A Duck???

    Want to challenge your students or kids to some deeper thinking? Want to make them study the pictures carefully? Want to introduce your students or kids to a great author? Or do you just want to have fun reading books that are a little quirky. Then start with the The Garden of Abul Gasazi? It's fun and the kids will want to read more book by Chris Van Allsburg. Tell them about the dog and see if they can find him in the author's other books. He turns up in some weird place. Study the beautiful illustrations. Expand your students' or kids' vocabulary with the mature beautiful languge. Chris Van Allsburg is my favorite children's author. I own most of his books and I have turned teachers and kids on to the wonderful stories that he conjures up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2007

    an enjoyable book for children

    Van Allsburg Chris, The garden of Abdul and Gasazi , Houghton miffin company,1979 Chris was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 18th, 1949, the second child of Doris Christiansen Van Allsburg and Richard Van Allsburg. His sister Karen was born in 1947. Chris¿s paternal grandfather, Peter, owned and operated a creamery, a place where milk was turned into butter, cream, cottage cheese, and ice cream. It was named East End Creamery, they delivered it to homes all around Grand Rapid. When Chris was born, his family lived in an old farm house next door to the large brick creamery building. It was a very old house had once looked over farmland. When Chris was three years old, his family moved to a new house at the edge of Grand. It was about a mile and a half to Breton Downs School, which Chris walked to every day and attended until 6th grade, when the Van Allsburg family moved again. The next house they lived in was an old brick Tudor Style house in East Grand Rapids. Chris went to junior and senior high school in East Grand Rapids Because of the high level of academic achievement at East Grand Rapids High School, the University of Michigan, sent an admissions officer to Chris¿s high school to interview students. Chris remembers that interview as a fateful day in determining what would become his career. Chris went to the University of Michigan in the fall of 1967.In 1975, after earning his M.F.A. degree at RISD, Chris set up a sculpture studio in Providence, RI. He married Lisa Morrison. Chris first exhibited his sculpture in New York City in 1977. Lisa, who used picture books when teaching her 3rd grade students, encouraged Chris to consider making illustrations for a story book. Chris set aside some time and created the story and pictures that became The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, published in 1979. Since then, Chris has written and illustrated 15 books and has illustrated three others that were written by Mark Helprin. In 1980, he was awarded the Caldecott Honor Medal for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. Chris is also the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, and was the recipient of the Boston Globe Horn Book Award for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. Chris has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children's literature. The book was about a little boy Alan who is asked to watch a dog named fritz whose owner miss Hester is going out of town. Fritz is known for causing some problems . When Alan takes the dog for a walk it gets loose and run in to a garden, owned by a magician who does not allow dog in his garden. The little boy searches for the dog and soon funs in to the magician. He finds the dog/ duck who flies away. The boy wonders how he will ever tell the owner what happened. The suddenly the dog is right back where it belongs. The mystery is how and if the duck was not fritz than where was fritz the whole time. You will love the ending and so will the kids who read it. The garden of Abdul and Gasazi was fun to read. It kept you wondering what would happen to the dog and why he did not want dog in his garden. The pictures were bright and colorful. The end has a little twist to it. Hey kids! Have you ever seen a dog fly? Well this dog does when he get turned in to a duck! He enters the garden of a great magician what do you think happens to him? Does he get turned in to a duck, or is it just a trick? You will have to read and find out. ¿Fritz , stop you Bad dog¿ ! ¿ certainly you man have your little Fritzie , fallow me.¿

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2007

    The Garden of Abdul Gasazi

    The 1980 Caldecott Honor book ¿The Garden of Abdul Gasazi¿ is written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg., and it was published in 1979. Allsburg was born on June 18, 1949 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is both a children book author and illustrator. He attended art school at the University of Michigan and received his Masters of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. He, his wife, and his two daughters currently live in Providence, Rhode Island. ¿The Garden of Abdul Gasazi¿ is about a young boy, Alan Mitz, and Miss. Hester¿s dog Fritz. One day, Miss Hester stopped by and asked Alan to watch her dog and to give him a walk. Fritz was a mischievous dog and Alan knew how much trouble Fritz was, but Alan still agreed to watch him for Miss Hester. Right away when the two were alone, Fritz ran into a parlor and chewed on things, ¿but Alan was ready.¿ While taking Fritz on his walk, Alan came across a sign saying ¿ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NO DOGS ALLOWED IN THIS GARDEN.¿ The sign was signed by Abdul Gasazi who was a retired magician. Alan, doing the right thing, turned away from the garden to begin walking Fritz again, but before he know it Fritz snapped out of his collar and ran straight into the garden. Alan cried, ¿Fritz, stop, you bad dog,¿ but the dog didn¿t listen. Will Alan ever find Fritz? What magical things do you think Alan experiences in Abdul Gasazi¿s garden? After all, Gasazi was a retired magician. This book is nicely written with magical illustrations. Although they are in black in white, they are still beautifully done. The plot was very intriguing, and the book was very enthralling to me. Children will definitely have a good time reading this book and going through the things that young Alan experiences. The reading level for this book is 4, and the age range is 4 to 8. Allsburg, Chris V. The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1979.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2007

    The Garden of Abdul Gasazi

    I must say I really enjoyed reading 'Garden of Abdul Gasazi.' I thought it was a cute story with a little comedy. Fritz was a mischievous dog. Miss. Hester asked Alan to watch Fritz and give him his afternoon walk. Fritz living up to his reputation escapes from Alan into the Garden that is forbidden to dogs. Will Alan find him and return home before Miss. Hester returns from her visit? Well, you'll just have to read to find out. The only thing more that I could ask for from this book is more color. The pictures already bring the story to life. I believe that color could increase the effectiveness of the pictures even more. Charles Van Allsburg is an original artist. He has had several other awards for picture books. He is not only the author but the illustrator as well. I would recommend this book for the 4th grade reading level. Allsburg, Chris. The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1979.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Wonderful pictures

    This book is about a little boy, named Alan, who is left to watch Miss. Hester¿s dog, Fritz. The dog ends up getting out of the fence in the front yard. Alan runs after Fritz yelling, ¿Fritz, stop, you bad dog!¿ Fritz would not stop and Alan had to search for him. Alan was just about ready to give up when he followed Fritz¿s tracks. He ended up at the house of Gasazi. Gasazi told Alan that he turned dogs into ducks, and pointed at a duck and said, ¿There¿s your Fritz.¿ Gasazi told Alan to take the bird and to never come back. The duck ran off though, and Alan had to return to Miss. Hester¿s without him. However, when he got there Miss. Hester told him that Fritz had come home a long time ago and was a dog, not a duck. You have to read the book to figure out how this happened.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2006

    Garden of Abdul Gasazi Review

    Ever had a mischievous dog? In this story Miss Hester leaves her mischievous dog with young Alan Mitz. Alan has dealt with this dog before and knows all the tricks to keep the dog from destroying the furniture, shaking the stuffing out of the pillows, and messing up his hat. However, everything changes when they wake up from a nap, and the dog decides he needs to go for a walk. They stumble upon a garden that has a sign saying, ¿Absolutely, Positively No Dogs Allowed In This Garden, signed Abdul Gasazi, Retired Magician.¿ Alan believed the sign however the dog ran straight into the garden. After a long search for Fritz, the dog, he ended up at Abdul Gasazi still searching. Gasazi invited him in and presented him with his dog, which was now a duck. Gasazi refused to change the dog back but said perhaps it would wear off in a day. How would Alan ever tell Miss Hester about her dog, or would he have too? Chris Van Allsburg was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is author of fifteen books to date, and illustrator of several more. He is also no stranger to the Caldecott Medal, he has won the Caldecott Honor Medal, and also is a two-time Caldecott Medal, with this being one of the books he received this prestigious award with. Alsburg is an excellent illustrator and writer and has everyone longing to be able to hear the bells.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2001

    we all like it

    There were 5 different opinions. Shane's, Osato's, J.D.'s, and William's were that the pictures needed more color. The bad thing about it was Fritz got lost. Osato said, 'The pictures were bad.' Shane said, 'The pictures were good!' William said, 'It can't be true because magic is not true.' Shane said, 'I like this book because I like magic.' William said, 'It was kind of a mystery. The man in it was mean.' Osato said, 'The man in it tricked Alan.' We really liked this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2000

    Magical Book -- Chris Van Allsburg scores again!!!

    This is a beautifully written book with absolutely magical illustrations! I fall in love with this book every time I pick it up!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)