MACHIAS, Maine — Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen will discuss his work Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the Porter Memorial Library in Machias and in elementary schools throughout the Down East region.
Sponsored by the Bar Harbor-based nonprofit Island Readers & Writers program, Van Dusen’s Porter Memorial Library visit is a free, public event that will run from 4 to 6 p.m. The five elementary school sessions throughout the week are not public events.
Now living in Camden, the Portland native has written and illustrated eight books, including his newest work, “If I Built a House.” It is a follow-on of his “If I Built a Car,” which won an E.B. White Award. An earlier book, “The Circus Ship,” won Van Dusen a Lupine Award. He also is the illustrator for the best-selling Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo.
In Van Dusen’s new book, young Jack takes his mom on a tour of his dream house, complete with a fish tank room, a race track room and a funky flying room.
“Things get crazier and crazier as Jack’s tour progresses,” said Van Dusen, who will discuss the process of creating the book during his Porter Memorial Library presentation. Copies of that book and others he has authored will be on sale.
“We’re really looking forward to bringing him to the Porter Memorial Library,” said Michelle Finn, Down East coordinator of the Island Readers & Writers program. “He is so well-loved by children and parents alike. He’s really fun to watch.”
Finn said the program’s mission is to inspire a passion for reading and learning among children. The program associated with the Maine Seacoast Mission expanded into the Down East region last fall, sponsoring author visits and the Literary Links to Science program in schools.
Before and after his public presentation Tuesday evening in Machias, Van Dusen will visit five public schools in Washington County, meeting with young readers and their teachers in sessions that are not open to the public.
During those visits to schools in Lubec, Machiasport, Machias, Milbridge and Jonesport, he will encourage students to let their imaginations soar as they decide what their own dream houses might include.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what the kids there come up with,” Van Dusen said.
For more information, call the library at 255-3933 or Island Readers & Writers at 288-2211.