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Chris Van Dusen at Left Bank Books

May 21 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm



Left Bank Books in Belfast invites the public—especially those who are in pre-Kindergarten through the second grade or so—to meet acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen on Saturday, May 21, from 2 pm to 4 pm. The event will celebrate the recent (May 13) publication of Van Dusen’s latest book, Big Truck Little Island, which is based on a true story that took place on the midcoast Maine island of Vinalhaven.

Van Dusen’s tale of community and ingenuity tells the story of a big truck and its big load getting stuck on a narrow road on the island, bringing island traffic to a halt. Some cars need to go south and some need to 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 resourcefulness through clever, rhyming wordplay and whimsical illustrations—all sprinkled with plenty of cars and trucks for transportation-loving readers.

Big Truck is Van Dusen’s eleventh book, joining his popular If I Built a Car, which won the 2006 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award from The Association of Booksellers for Children; If I Built a House; If I Built a School; and Circus Ship. Van Dusen has also written and illustrated the “Mr. Magee” series that includes Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee; A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, and Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee.

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

Van Dusen consistently brings humor, adventure, lively language, and richly colored illustrations to all of his books. He worked for more than 10 years as a freelance illustrator specializing in art for kids until one day, he says, “I started thinking about drawing a picture of a boat stuck high up in a tree. I thought that would be a really funny and intriguing illustration. At the same time, a refrain kept running through my head: ‘Mr. Magee and his little dog, Dee/Hopped in the car and drove down to the sea.’ The combination of these two things eventually became my first book [in 2000]. . . .I’ve been busy writing and illustrating children’s books ever since.”

All are welcome to stop in at Left Bank Books any time between 2 and 4 pm to meet Van Dusen and have him sign copies of his books. If you’d like to reserve copies of any of Van Dusen’s books in advance, please call (207.338.9009) or email ( to do so. The shop is located at 109 Church Street in downtown Belfast, and there’s ample, free parking in front of the shop and in an adjacent city lot.


May 21
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Left Bank Books
109 Church Street
Belfast, ME 04915 United States
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(207) 338-9009
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