Chris Van Dusen is an American author and illustrator of children's books. He was born on St. Patrick's Day, 1960, in Portland Maine. After high school, he studied fine art at The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He graduated with a BFA in 1982. Van Dusen spent more than ten years as a freelance illustrator and his work appeared in magazines like Nickelodeon, Family Fun and Disney Adventures. He published his first book, Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, in 2000. In addition to his own work, he has also illustrated numerous books by other authors, including Kat DiCamillo's Mercy Watson series.