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Chris Van Dusen's "Mr. Magee" Books for Children
Mr. Magee and his little dog, 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."