Let me assure you there is no hyperbole when I say that The Mysteries of Harris Burdick inspired me to be a writer. It made me want to tell stories, and seek answers, and shine light on the dark to see what's really hiding in the shadows.
If you aren't familiar with TMOHB, it consists of fourteen black-and-white drawings allegedly "discovered" by author Chris Van Allsburg (Jumanji, The Polar Express), each with a one sentence fragment of a story. A sinister plant, a lost steamship, and a stone that comes skipping back are lushly depicted on pages curated to invigorate imagination and make you tell the story.
Van Allsburg is a genius, and this book is but one of many in his vast collection of exemplary work. I don't know if I'll ever have a child, but if I do, he or she will most certainly have everything Van Allburg's ever touched on their bookshelves.