Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg

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Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A factual look (with exquisite drawings) at the first self-made celebrity who went over Niagra Falls in a barrel. It might look like a children's picture book but it's for an older age group.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: June 2011
Publisher: Andersen Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1849392723

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Annie Edson Taylor was sixty-two years old and a widow. She didn't have very much money saved and she was worried about her future - until she had an inspiration. She would have a barrel made - a very stout and water-tight barrel - and she would be the first person to brave the thundering waters of Niagra Falls in this barrel. Chris Van Allsburgh tells us her story from the moment of inspiration right through to the times after the epic trip, but in truth the words are simpy there to eleborate on his wonderful drawings. They're so good that you could be forgiven for thinking that they're black and white photographs on occasions.

This might be the story of Annie Edson Taylor but it says a great deal about how America was in 1901. It might be new century but a widow of Annie's age would worry about how she was going to manage and the chance of being able to make some money from her fame made the risk worthwhile. Even then she would have to travel to fairs and sell postcards just to mae a little money. Annie didn't do particularly well from the risk she took - and really was left with just the fact that she could say that she was the first to go over the Falls in a barrel.

At first glance this might look like a child's picture book. Don't be fooled. It isn't. The confident reader will be mature enough to appreciate the risk and the grandeur of the Falls, but even adults will appreciate the story and I've seen several mesmerised by the pictures. It's a book that's worth buying as it won't just be children who return to it time and time again.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending acopy to the Bookbag.

For more from Chris Van Allsburg we can recommend The Polar Express and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

Buy Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg at Amazon.com.


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