Chris Van Dusen visits the Ashley Bryan School on Islesford!

Friday, November 30 was a wonderful day from beginning to end!  It started with a cold but beautiful boat ride to Islesford with the Principal of the Ashley Bryan School Heather Webster, author/ illustrator Chris Van Dusen, friend Sarah Corson and fellow passengers, who quickly became new friends.

When we arrived at the dock there were islanders greeting friends and helpers everywhere. While only 26 degrees, we wanted to walk to the school, so when artist Henry Isaacs offered to transport our gear in his truck to the school we instantly accepted.

When we reached the school we were enthusiastically welcomed by several children and by teachers Lindsay Eysnogle and Donna Isaacs. It was lunchtime so we joined right in, picnicking and chatting away!  We had a little time before Chris’ presentation so while the students enjoyed recess and their ‘Drop Everything and Read’ time, we toured several new and innovative building sites on the island. The houses were fantastic, imaginative, functional and unusual too!  Jack would approve! The builders and our tour guide Gail told us that one of the structures was to be built in the shape of a spiral, imagine!

When we returned to the school we found a room filled with homeschool children, parents, community members, and of course students, all eager to hear Chris read his new book “If I Built a House.”  After his presentation several students shared their house designs.  Each volunteer presented a layout of his/her house and explained its’ many featured.  We also saw a fantastic exhibit that included houses of all kinds, colors and designs with incredibly imaginative features created by the students!  They were awesome!

Chris then signed a copy of his book (given by IRW to each child) and had time to talk individually with each of the young architects.  It was a grand day!  Thank you students and teachers of the Ashley Bryan School for making it so!

As we walked to the boat we had another treat.  We stopped in the post office and general store to say hello to Joy Sprague.  After introductions and realizing that Chris lived in Camden.  Joy recited a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay.  She was amazing!

The sun was setting as we went to catch the 4:00pm boat to Northeast Harbor!  It was an incredible day!

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