Monday, October 12, 2009

If I Built A Car and The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen

Release Date: Both titles are available now.

Source: Personal collection.

I have to tell you, Chris Van Dusen has quickly become my favorite author/illustrator of picture books. His illustrations are amazing and, in the case of If I Built A Car, have a truly wonderful retro feel. His books are written in verse and are funny, witty, and a complete delight to read to kids of any age. My first graders dug it just as much as my fifth graders. It a great title to use when you are learning rhyming words, or for visualization exercises. Simply perfect!

His newest book is The Circus Ship and it's the tale of a circus ship that sank off the coast of Maine. The animals swim to shore and become part of the town. It's whimsical and sweet. The illustrations in this one are beautiful as well. Each time I look at it, I find something new. I can't wait to share it with my classes, but that'll have to wait until next week, because this week is all about Where the Wild Things Are.

If you love picture books, you should definitely hunt down Van Dusen's work. It will carry you away!


  1. The cover of 'The Cirus Ship' caught my eye the very first time I saw it. I too love the retro style, in my case it reminds me of the picture books I adored as a child.
    I find verse books great bedtime settlers for little ones, something in the rhythm can be very soothing.
    Maureen Hume.

  2. I miss the days when I had picture books!