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Author: Chris Van Dusen

Illustrator: Chris Van Dusen

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Publisher: Chronicle Books, ´┐½2003

Material: hard cover

Summary: Mr. Magee and Dee love the outdoors. So they hitch up the camper and head out of town. Mmm, roasting marshmallows on the campfire, watching the sun set over the nearby waterfall. Could there be a better way to end the day? Not when a bear tries to take your marshmallows and sends you ´┐½ in your camper ´┐½ down the hill and toward the falls. Oh no! This is story filled with rhyme, some humor, and a bit of suspense for kids learning to read.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read, easy reader, illustrated chapter

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Reading Level: 3.8

Age of Child: Read with 7-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter giggled at the idea of a bear eating marshmallows and a trailer hitch.

Adult Reader Reaction: Chris Van Dusen is a wonderful artist and a great storyteller. Mr. Magee and Dee are both expressive characters, and being ´┐½locked´┐½ in the 1950s makes them even more adorable. The story is funny, they rhyming is clever, and it´┐½s just a neat down-to-earth read.

Pros: Everyone can enjoy this adventure of a man and his dog. It is a great option for reluctant and remedial readers.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! These are the books that kids will remember and want to read to their own children.

If You Liked This Book, Try: MERCY WATSON TO THE RESCUE   DOWN TO THE SEA WITH MR. MAGEE   YOU READ TO ME, I'LL READ TO YOU! Very Short Mother Goose Tales to Read Together

Educational Themes: This is a story for sharing and enjoying. The pace and cadence make it an excellent choice to practice reading, whether reading as partners or to help reinforce the confidence of a reluctant or remedial reader. If you want to stretch it, you could talk about safety and the rules of camping.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 3.8

Literary Categories: fiction - easy reader series, rhyme, humor, adventure

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2008

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews and reader feedback at and feedback at


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