“The Garden of Abdul Gasazi” by Chris Van Allsburg Theme 3 Awards Caldecott Honor Award ALA Notable Children’s Book Boston Globe -Horn Book Award New York Times Best Illustrated Books of the Year Genre: Fantasy
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One day Alan is walking Fritz, Miss Hester’s dog. Fritz disappears into a garden owned by Abdul Gasazi. Gasazi tells Alan that Fritz is now a duck. Alan believes him, only to find that Fritz has already returned home-as a dog. Gasazi’s story was a trick-or was it?
causing a feeling of wonder, fear, and respect
made to do, believe, or feel certain about something
passed out of sight; vanished
too unlikely to be believed; astonishing or amazing
not able to happen or exist
Let’s try it!
Read page 352. Do you understand why this story is titled The Garden of Abdul Gasazi?
Read page 352. Why did the author
include the information about Alan’s hat?
Fill in the organizer with details from the story.
When Chris Van Allsburg was growing up, he had no idea he would one day be an artist. He did enjoy art, however, especially drawing cartoon characters. His favorite time was the two days a week when he had art class at school. He even went to school sick if it was an art day! As he
grew older, Van Allsburg's interest in art faded a little bit. But after high school, he enrolled in an art school, mostly because he thought the classes would be easy. He was wrong about that! The classes were long and
hard, and he felt that the other students had more art experience than he did. But he discovered that he still loved art as much as he had when he was younger. He mainly studied sculpture, and he went on to get a Master's
degree in sculpture after college.
Van Allsburg wasn't a sculptor for very long, though. Just for fun, he began "drawing little pictures" at home. "It was either that or watch TV," he remembers. In time, he thought of a story to go with the pictures. That story became his first book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The dog Van Allsburg created in that book has appeared in most of his other books since then. The dog, Fritz, is special to Van Allsburg, because he is based on a real dog Van Allsburg once knew. "It's just a little thing I do to amuse myself, I guess — to always put the dog in the book as a little homage to him," he says. (from www.eduplace.com)
If you enjoyed reading “The Garden of Abdul Gasazi” and would like to check out some more information and activities, click below to go to www.eduplace.com, Houghton Mifflin’s web site.