On this day, June 18, 1949, author and illustrator Chris van Allsburg was born in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. After studying art at the University of Michigan and at RISD, Van Allsburg began working as a sculptor. He began illustrating and writing after his wife showed his pictures to a children’s book editor. Not only does Van Allsburg produce his own books, he has also done illustrations for the work of others. Two of his books, Jumanji and The Polar Express have received Caldecott Medals.