A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee

Pin It

Have you ever seen such an unlikely pair of heroes in a children's book?

A square middle-aged man and a discreet little dog.

What? That's it?

You would be perfectly correct to doubt the long-term potential of what may seem to be a suspectly bland duo.

But you would also be perfectly wrong.

The Mr. Magee book troika (A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee, Down To The Sea with Mr. Magee and Learning To Ski With Mr. Magee) is one of the best modern picture book series available. 

This pair just feels right. They are a believable sort, because they are so low-key.

And this is one of the great triumphs of Van Dusen as a storyteller. His inner artist works on so many levels to make the Magee stories so easy-going and enjoyable.

Tonight we read A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee for the umpteenth time and - as always - it never fails to inspire.

 Now - many a reading later - the unassuming and good-natured Mr. Magee and his loyal sidekick Dee are probably my twins' most loved pair of characters from all of the books we read. 

The Magee books are at the very top of our favourite read-alouds.

Although Van Dusen also illustrated the hyper-popular Mercy Watson series penned by Kate DiCamillo about a porcine wonder, the Magee stories are clearly superior as fables.

What makes the Magee books even more magnificent is that fact that the text on all 36 pages is written in sweet, humorous and intelligent rhyme.

The book is such a fantastic pleasure to read. For the reader and for the listener(s).

Reproduced from http://www.chrisvandusen.com/

The pictures.

Those pictures!

Oh don't get me started on the visuals in this book.

Van Dusen's retro feel combined with his glorious colors and breath-taking viewpoints make A Camping Spree for Mr. Magee a Technicolor roller-coaster experience for children.

This book is a blast of natural life and fresh air in your face. You will feel as if you are camping outside with Mr. Magee. 
It is a testament to Van Dusen's fantastic artistic powers.

And the story?

This spectacular book in rhythimic rhyme simply screams to be read aloud to kids!

It follows Magee and his pup Dee as they decide to go on a camping trip.

After a whole day's ride they find the perfect spot on a hill above a brook that runs over a steep waterfall.

While sleeping in the camper, a bear comes around.

"A kindly old bear whose sight wasn't so clear. He couldn't see far and he couldn't see near".

Trying to reach a bag of marshmallows, the bear unhitches the camper, which rolls down into the river and stops on a ledge above the waterfall.

A drama with spectacular visuals unfolds above the waterfall.

Finally, after the bear helps to save Magee and Dee, they decide to return home.

Mr. Magee books are certainly not easy to create, Van Dusen published the three existing ones between 2000 and 2010.

The last one came out just before Christmas 2010, so I guess the next one will be published in 2013/4.

Until then - don't lose time - get a hold of the three existing Magee books.

And then give your kids a real treat.

Read them and laugh together!

A Camping Spree With Mr. Magee is available online from booksellers in the US:


The Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)

and from other countries:

Amazon UK
Amazon CA
Amazon DE

If you'd like to learn more about Chris Van Dusen, you can visit his home page at http://www.chrisvandusen.com/.

No comments:

Post a Comment