Chris Van Allsburg Quotes

What kids are exposed to on television is more frightening and horrifying than what they see in my books.

Vision Quotes

I don't like to travel. Yet all my books seem to involve a journey.

Travel Quotes

As much as I'd like to meet the tooth fairy on an evening walk, I don't really believe it can happen.

Tooth Fairy Quotes


The whole idea of being mesmerized and not in control of your own actions is fascinating and a little spooky. I remember hearing about someone who'd gone to a magic act, and a person in the audience had become hypnotized by observing too closely what magician was doing on stage, and thought it was spooky to lose your consciousness that way.

Action Quotes, Control Quotes, Thought Quotes

I've always thought of the book as a visual art form, and it should represent a single artistic idea, which it does if you write your own material.

Thought Quotes, Art Quotes, Material Quotes

People have asked me a lot, 'What comes first? The pictures or the story? The story or the picture?' It's hard to describe because often they seem to come at the same time. I'm seeing images while I'm thinking of the story.

Time Quotes, Thinking Quotes

Brainstorming, for me, takes place in my bed at night between the time I turn out my lights and I finally fall asleep. It is not a very violent storm, but what's happening is I am just thinking about different ideas and maybe things I've seen that day that I think might make a good story.

Time Quotes, Ideas Quotes, Thinking Quotes

Some artists claim praise is irrelevant in measuring the success of art, but I think it's quite relevant. Besides, it makes me feel great.

Success Quotes, Great Quotes, Aim Quotes, Art Quotes, Praise Quotes

There was a great deal of peer recognition to be gained in elementary school by being able to draw well. One girl could draw horses so well, she was looked upon as a kind of sorceress.

Great Quotes, Recognition Quotes

My ideas are not meant to suggest dreams or reality, but a surreal quality.

Dreams Quotes, Reality Quotes, Ideas Quotes

The Polar Express is about faith, and the power of imagination to sustain faith. It's also about the desire to reside in a world where magic can happen, the kind of world we all believed in as children, but one that disappears as we grow older.

Children Quotes, Desire Quotes, Faith Quotes, Imagination Quotes, Power Quotes

In the same way that a mundane object can have a personality somehow, I try to suggest that a mundane setting can have some menace behind it.

Personality Quotes

I'm not a perfectionist. I'm just very observant.

Perfection Quotes

I think parents generally know what's best for their children. But I suppose it's possible to be overprotective.

Children Quotes, Parents Quotes

I try to satisfy the desires that people have to have their books personalized. That's a value, or feature, of bibliophilia that may vanish. How do you get your e-book signed? The idea of people standing in line to get my signature in their book, it's hard to turn them away.

Desire Quotes, Nature Quotes

Santa is our culture's only mythic figure truly believed in by a large percentage of the population. It's a fact that most of the true believers are under eight years old, and that's a pity.

Myth Quotes

At first, I see pictures of a story in my mind. Then creating the story comes from asking questions of myself. I guess you might call it the 'what if - what then' approach to writing and illustration.

Mind Quotes

The theory of isolation of certain tasks in certain hemispheres of the brain suggests I shouldn't even be able to speak, never mind write.

Mind Quotes

I have very positive memories of reading biographies of unusual Americans as a child.

American Quotes, Memories Quotes

I love the idea of a tiny window between the back stoop and the pantry, where the milkman would pass through the cheese. But of course, there is no milkman anymore. So somebody coming by the house and seeing the window would say, 'Oh, that must be original, because that's where the milkman passed the cheese through to the pantry.'

Love Quotes

As long as I can remember, I've always loved to draw. But my interest in drawing wasn't encouraged very much.

Love Quotes, Courage Quotes

I believe that there will be many things that happen to me in my life that I will not be able to explain. Some of those might be magic. I'm not sure.

Life Quotes

Your house is all about routine, not the unexpected events of your life.

Life Quotes

The general effect of viewing 'Jumanji' is thrilling. I was able to see on film a thing that at one point had only existed in my imagination. I got to see the images from my book come alive.

Imagination Quotes

The Dick, Jane, and Spot primers have gone to that bookshelf in the sky. I have, in some ways, a tender feeling toward them, so I think it's for the best.

Feeling Quotes

It did occur to me that certainly African-Americans are not underserved in picture books, but those books are almost all about specifically black experiences.

American Quotes, Experience Quotes

I don't like to get scared - it's not one of the emotions I enjoy. So I have to assume that if there are scary things in my books, they aren't very scary.

Emotion Quotes

Authors of books are not given very much control over the films that are made from their books.

Control Quotes

When somebody says, 'This must be a children's book,' basically they're saying, 'You must be a child.' And so my answer is, 'Well, yes, I guess I am a child.' But I don't think of myself that way.

Children Quotes

It seems to me that not only the writing in most children's books condescends to kids, but so does the art. I don't want to do that.

Children Quotes, Art Quotes

A good picture book should have events that are visually arresting - the pictures should call attention to what is happening in the story.

Attention Quotes

I think most people agree there is a component of skill in art making; you have to learn grammar before you learn how to write.

Skill Quotes, Art Quotes

If I'm not working on something, I'm eager to work on something because it's so gratifying.

Work Quotes

I'm always a bit disappointed when I've finished working on a book.

Work Quotes

Following my muse has worked out pretty well so far. I can't see any reason to change the formula now.

Change Quotes, Work Quotes

The opportunity to create a small world between two pieces of cardboard, where time exists yet stands still, where people talk and I tell them what to say, is exciting and rewarding.

Opportunity Quotes, Time Quotes

It was the case for a number of years that I was doing a book a year, but that was back when I was part-time teaching - and since 1991, I've been a parent, so that cuts into the time!

Time Quotes