When I was five years old, my parents took me out of school and for three months we ‘road tripped’ around the United States. Although I’ve been back to the United States a few times since then, I haven’t yet made it back to Niagra Falls. However, the initial sighting at only five years of age, stuck with me. I still remember the noise of the water as we came close to the waterfall in the boat. I was awestruck (and really quite scared). So when I saw that one of my favourite author/illustrators had written a book about a lady who had gone over the falls in a barrel – well how could I resist?



Queen of the Falls is the true story of Annie Edson Taylor (1838-1921). She was a pioneer ‘barrel rider’. As Chris Van Allsburg says in the author’s note, “There is something decidedly fantastic and not quite real about Niagara Falls, about Annie’s adventure, and about the stories that can unfold when imagination, determination, and foolhardiness combine to set humans off in pursuit of their goals.


Not only is this a captivating story, superbly crafted by Chris Van Allsburg, but his illustrations are amazing. He has a very unique style and I think you either love them or really don’t care for them. I love them. I have been a big fan ever since ‘reading’ the Wreck of the Zephyr.

QueenOfTheFalls_ChrisVanAllsburg_expressionSMLI don’t know any other illustrator who captures human emotions as accurately as Chris Van Allsburg. Except that his pictures sometimes border on creepy (I’m thinking of Water Tower), I think I’d frame prints of his pictures in my children’s room.

Queen of the Falls

Author & Illustrator: Chris Van Allsburg

ISBN: 978-1-84939-272-3

If you think you might like to buy this book, please use the links provided in this post as it will go a little way to funding my book addiction. TIA!


As always, on Tuesdays, I like to link up with Jess. Be sure to check out the other great posts, or her post ‘Watch me whip, watch me pretend like I’m know what I’m doing.’

Written by Nadia


JF Gibson

What an interesting story that would be. And those illustrations! If you hadn’t have told me, I’d have sworn they were photographs. Wow.


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