Friday, June 5, 2015

Chris Van Dusen and Mr. Magee

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee
36 pages / 2003

Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee
36 pages / 2006

Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee
36 pages / 2010

by Chris Van Dusen

Mr. Magee and his little dog Dee
love camping, skiing and sailing the sea
They meet moose and birds and milkman and whales.
These are certainly extraordinary tales!

Preschool through Grade 1 will have such fun reading about the adventures of Mr. Magee and his little dog Dee. In all three tales the story is told entirely in rhyme, making these a fun early exposure to how, when properly done, poetry can sometimes be better than prose.

I began this with my best imitation of author Chris Van Dusen, but should really include some of the real deal. Here are a few "stanzas" from Down to the Sea:

MAGEE was downhearted. Just what could he do?
They seemed hopelessly stuck, but little DEE knew.
The secret to get the boat safely unpinned
Was to rock back and forth and wait for the wind.

So they rocked and they rocked for an hour or so.
But the boat didn't budge 'cause the wind didn't blow.
Just when they thought they'd be stuck there all night
They spotted, far off, a spectacular sight.

I won't let you know what the spectacular sight is - for that you'll have to dig up the book youself at your local library.

All three are charming, very fun to read aloud, and beautifully illustrated (see the example picture below). My only criticisms would be that there are just three - my daughters would have loved to read much more about the adventurous (and prone to peril) Mr. Magee.

If you want to buy a copy you can get one here at

MAGEE and DEE stuck in a tree

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