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Chris Van Dusen's "Mr. Magee" Books for Children

Updated on January 24, 2015

Mr. Magee and his little dog, Dee...

Dawn is just breaking for McGee and Dee
Dawn is just breaking for McGee and Dee

Chris Van Dusen

Chris Van Dusen has written two of my family's all time favorite children's books: Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee and A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee . Although relatively new, these books are the stuff of instant classics. The endearing characters, charming stories and fun rhyming text are accompanied by Van Dusen's own whimsical illustrations set in the 1960s.

Prior to writing his own books, Van Dusen worked as a freelance illustrator for more that ten years. All of his, wall-art worthy, illustrations are hand painted using gouache on illustration board. Down to the Sea with Mr Magee was Van Dusen's first book which was published in 2000.

Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee at Amazon Books

"Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee"

In Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, Magee and his dog, Dee, set out in a 1961 Rambler to go spend "time in their boat on the sea." Their plans for a calm day soon turn to mayhem when a young whale decides to cure his own boredom by playing with the boat, Magee and Dee included.

Magee and Dee are taken for a wild ride and finally end up in the top of a sixty foot tree:

Just when they thought they'd be stuck there all night

They spotted far off, a spectacular sight.

Away in the distance, across the blue bay

The whales-all fifty-were heading their way!

The entire pod of whales, from which the youngster had strayed, come to do their best to save Magee and Dee from the treetop...a super fun read!

"A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee"

In A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee , Magee and Dee set out for a pleasant "two nights of camping (or possibly three.)" Things are going along smoothly until along comes a bear with a sweet-tooth and bad eyesight:

A kindly old bear whose sight wasn't so clear.

(He couldn't see far and he couldn't see near.)

But he could smell marshmallows, sticky and sweet.

This smell made him hungry. He wanted a treat!

Once again, Magee and Dee find themselves on a hair-raising ride after the bear accidentally separates the car and camper. The book ends with the two frazzled, would-be campers returning home "to camp in the backyard instead."

McGee and Dee at Twilight
McGee and Dee at Twilight

Other Children's Books by Chris Van Dusen


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Great post. Quite refreshing provided all the duplicate written content out there. Cheers for doing something original.

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile imageAUTHOR

      Mrs. Menagerie 

      7 years ago from The Zoo

      Thanks Susan!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Have never read these books but they do look wonderful. Enjoyed your hub very much.

    • profile image

      THAT Mary Ann 

      7 years ago

      OOPS...too old for them...8...Well, anyway, I like these maybe a niece's birthday...


    • Mrs. Menagerie profile imageAUTHOR

      Mrs. Menagerie 

      7 years ago from The Zoo

      Hi Mary Ann, if the kids are under, say 6 years old, I'm sure they will love these books!

    • profile image

      THAT Mary Ann 

      7 years ago

      These look like something my grandkids might enjoy...thanks for bringing them to my attention!

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile imageAUTHOR

      Mrs. Menagerie 

      7 years ago from The Zoo

      Hey thanks's so exciting!!!

      Cardelean--one was given to us as a gift and we were hooked after that. Such fun books for kids!

    • cardelean profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan

      Wow, I find that as a teacher it is rare that I have not heard of a series of books but these are new to me. Definitely on my list to check out, thanks for sharing them.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Cute. I don't recall these. Congratulations BTW on your wonderful hub that is a featured story this week.


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