The Stranger

The Stranger

4.0 13
by Chris Van Allsburg
     
 

The enigmatic origins of the stranger that Farmer Bailey hits with his truck and brings home to recuperate seem to have a mysterious relation to the weather. Could he be Jack Frost?

Overview


The enigmatic origins of the stranger that Farmer Bailey hits with his truck and brings home to recuperate seem to have a mysterious relation to the weather. Could he be Jack Frost?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The author-illustrator has woven a thread of fantasy in and around his realistic illustrations to give the reader, once again, a story that stays in the imagination." Horn Book

"The author-illustrator has woven a thread of fantasy in and around his realistic illustrations to give the reader, once again, a story that stays in the imagination." Horn Book Guide

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Farmer Bailey thinks he's hit a deer while driving his truck, but in the middle of the road lies a man, an enigmatic stranger. He goes home with Farmer Bailey, his memory apparently gone. Weeks pass at the Bailey farm; the stranger seems happy to be around them, and helps with the harvest. Oddly, while trees to the north of the farm turn red and gold with the arrival of fall, Bailey's land seems to be in a state of perpetual summer. One day, the stranger sees geese flying south and knows that he, too, must leave. Not long after that, the leaves at the farm change color and the air turns cool. And every year since, summer lasts a week longer at the Bailey farm than anywhere else. Van Allsburg's story is strangely melancholy, and his straightforward writng is uncannily dry, in contrast to the vivid green and golden landscapes of his paintings. The mood and suspense in this book make it compellinga chance to see the artist take a slight incident and create a truly mysterious event. (All ages
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
This reissue of Van Allsburg's tale of the origins of Indian summer will continue to both charm and mystify young readers. Summer is just turning to fall when Farmer Bailey hits a man crossing the road in front of his truck. The man is dressed in strange leather clothing and appears to be a wandering hermit. He suffers from amnesia, however, so the Baileys have no explanation for the man's unusual behavior and the cold drafts they feel in his presence. The stranger stays on as a guest, helping with farm chores and joining in family activities. Then one day, he picks up a green leaf. As he breathes on it, the leaf turns to gold. Suddenly, the stranger's memory returns. He quickly dons his old leather clothes, hugs the family good-bye, and vanishes. The Bailey's feel a cool breeze and notice the trees changing colors. Each page of the text has a facing picture in full color. Van Allsburg's signature illustrations illuminate the surreal feeling of the story. Suggested activities for using this book with students can be found on Van Allsburg's web site: http://www.chrisvanallsburg.com.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4The Stranger is a down-homey modern myth about the phenomenon of Indian Summer, but the opening owes less to the folktale than to The Twilight Zone. Farmer Bailey, rapt on an end-of-summer day in his 1940s pickup, suddenly hits something: the next page shows a young man's body, dramatically foreshortened and stretched out at eye-level in the evening shadows. The terror-stricken victim quickly recovers but has lost both speech and memory. Invited to stay with the farmer, his wife, and little girl, he spends idyllic days with them while autumn's advance is unaccountably delayed. The text scatters clues to the stranger's identity (Jack Frost); but the moment of recognition is cleverly given over to the electrifying illustration alone. Characteristically, the bold simplifications of Van Allsburg's warm pastels look back to American regionalist paintings of the 1930s and '40sespecially to Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood. The story is too low-keyed for most children, although several compositions provide suspense with their unorthodox points-of-view, out-of-frame action, and play with effects of light. Here the interweaving of fantasy and reality is more complex than in Van Allsburg's earlier books, and the effects more subtle; but the surface pleasures of color and form are still enticing. Patricia Dooley, formerly at Drexel University, Phila .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395423318
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/28/1986
Edition description:
None
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
105,179
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 10.86(h) x 0.36(d)
Lexile:
640L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The author-illustrator has woven a thread of fantasy in and around his realistic illustrations to give the reader, once again, a story that stays in the imagination." Horn Book

"The author-illustrator has woven a thread of fantasy in and around his realistic illustrations to give the reader, once again, a story that stays in the imagination." Horn Book Guide

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 is a former instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design.


Brief Biography

Hometown:
Providence, Rhode Island
Date of Birth:
June 18, 1949
Place of Birth:
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Education:
University of Michigan College of Architecture & Design, 1972; Rhode Island School of Design, MFA, 1975
Website:
http://www.chrisvanallsburg.com

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The Stranger 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg is one of my favorite books. This story is about a stranger that gets hit by Mr. Bailey¿s car. He doesn¿t know who he is and he has no place to go. He lives with the Bailey¿s he works very hard. When he¿s in the sun he doesn¿t even sweat he works so hard and doesn¿t take breaks. When he came it was fall but around the Bailey¿s the trees were green in the distance it was not. It is fall and it¿s hot when it should be cool. If you like a book with good illustration and mystery books, you should read The Stranger. If you like a mystery, then this is the right book for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Stranger by Chris Van Allsburg is a great book. It starts out when Mr. Baily runs into a stranger with his truck. So Mr. Baily let him stay as long as he needed. They let him wear new clean clothes .They started working in the farm it was hot out there. The stranger did not sweat but Mr. Baily did sweat and take a break. The stranger danced with the Bailey family . He had so much fun. Hard to believe that he was a hermit. When he saw the green trees he thought they were ugly .He did not like green trees. One day the strangers feelings grew bigger the next day he couldn¿t stand a green trees leaf. He touched it and it turned red. To find out why you have to read the rest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although, the book is extremely fast paced in a sense of many different occurances arrising randomly, it all really comes together at the end after thinking for a moment. i didn't get it at first and thought it was horribe but after going back and re- reading some chapters it all makes sense. It is a tragic story of a man named Meursault who has no hope in life and how lives.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was in fourth grade I read this book. It's a little strange I have to say but I like this book alot!I if you like strange things then you should read it its only 32 pages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't quite catch anything at all, it doesn't give you very many details about the stranger after living with him so long, but i like the illustraitions, though. Bad book! The only CVA book that's bad! Read the other ones as you like but not THIS ONE AT ALL!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this story when I was in grade school, and it's still a favorite...
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great book The Stranger is!! Chris Van Allsburg is GREAT at making stories, I liked this one the best!!