Van Dusen signs latest children’s book at Left Bank

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BELFAST – Left Bank Books, 109 Church St., invites the public – especially those in pre-kindergarten through grade two – to meet acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen on Saturday, May 21 from 2 p.m. 4 p.m. The event celebrates the recent publication of Van Dusen’s latest book, “Big Truck Little Island”, which is based on a true story that took place on Vinalhaven Island in Midcoast Maine.

Van Dusen’s story of community and ingenuity tells the story of a large truck and its large load stuck on a narrow island road, bringing traffic to a halt on the island. Some cars have to go south and some go north. How will Meg get to her swim meet? What about Barry’s ballet class? It’s the kids who come up with a solution, and Van Dusen delightfully captures their ingenuity through clever, rhyming puns and whimsical illustrations – all peppered with plenty of cars and trucks for transport-loving readers.

“Big Truck Little Island” is Van Dusen’s 11th book, joining his “If I Built a Car”, which won the 2006 EB White Read-Aloud Award from the Children’s Booksellers Association; “If I built a house”; “If I Built a School” and “Circus Ship”. Van Dusen also wrote and illustrated the “Mr. Magee” series which includes “Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee; “”A camping trip with Mr. Magee” and “Learning to ski with Mr. Magee”.

As an illustrator, he collaborated with Newbery Medal-winning author Kate DiCamillo in their popular series of “Mercy Watson” chapter books for early readers. Mercy is a “pig wonder” who experiences one crazy adventure after another.

Van Dusen consistently brings humor, adventure, lively language, and richly colored illustrations to all of his books. He worked for over 10 years as a freelance illustrator specializing in children’s art until one day he said, “I started thinking about drawing a picture of a boat stuck on top of ‘a tree. I thought this would be a really funny and intriguing illustration. At the same time, a refrain ran through my head: ‘Mr. Magee and his little dog, Dee/jumped into the car and drove down to the sea.’ The combination of these two things eventually became my first book [in 2000]. . . Since then, I have been busy writing and illustrating children’s books.

All are welcome to stop by Left Bank Books anytime between 2 and 4 p.m. to meet Van Dusen and have him sign copies of his books. Call 207-338-9009 or email [email protected] to reserve copies.

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