Chris Van Dusen recently sat down with the First Book staff to talk about his contribution to Our White House and other upcoming projects. Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, a project designed by the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance and published by Candlewick Press, explores America’s rich culture and encourages young people to read about history. Over 100 authors and illustrators worked on the project including Chris Van Dusen. Throughout the podcast, Van Dusen explains how he chose to depict his favorite president by looking at old photos for inspiration. He was mesmerized by Roosevelt’s humor and his “great big toothy smile.” Van Dusen’s illustration captures the hectic household with children and animals storming down the steps.
In the podcast, Van Dusen also explains that his desire to become an author and illustrator came from his childhood in Maine and the meticulous detail of Robert McCloskey’s illustrations. Van Dusen has worked on 9 other books including the Mercy Watson series written by Kate DiCamillo.
Listen to the podcast with Chris Van Dusen below and discover his witty sense of humor and career aspirations. For more information, please visit http://www.chrisvandusen.com, and look for his new book The Circus Ship set for release in September 2009.