Chris Van Allsburg might be my favorite combination author/illustrator. Is it really fair for one person to have both those talents in such extraordinary form? All his gorgeous picture books center around using ones imagination, this one perhaps most of all. The premise is so clever and simple and just the teensiest bit creepy: what the reader allegedly holds in his or her hands are the only remnants of fourteen stories written by a Mr. Harris Burdick, who disappeared leaving behind just the titles of his stories and a captioned picture for each one. Isn't that just delicious? A perfect assignment for children or anyone looking to stir up their own imagination -- make up your own short story to complete one of the mysteries Harris Burdick left behind!