“I used to do a lot of art for business magazines. I really like a more comic style, so appealing to children is a natural fit.”

For Chris Van Dusen, an illustrator and author, it is a natural fit for not only himself, but his audience as well. Third- and fourth-graders marveled at the artist’s work at Lincoln School in Augusta on Friday.

They clapped and gasped as Van Dusen read “Down to the Sea With Mr. Magee” and “Learning to Ski With Mr. Magee.” Every one of the youngsters raised their hands when he asked if they had ever heard of the Magee series.

“They can relate to the readings,” said Van Dusen, who was urged by the classroom to read an unplanned second book. “Their reaction to the books is very rewarding.”

Van Dusen’s art can be seen all over the place. He has written and illustrated several books of his own, painted about 15 LL Bean magazine covers, circus posters, author Kate Dicamillo’s “Mercy Watson” series, and even the Maine lobster license plate.

“I wonder if the guy in the truck next to me this morning knew that the guy next to him drew his license plate?” He joked to the giggling young audience.

Van Dusen’s books have been published in several different languages.

Along with the readings of his quirky, rhyming tales, Van Dusen talked about his career. He showed the students examples of his work, paintings, and even raw, early drawings of the beloved Mr. Magee character that looked very unfamiliar to the little fans.

“Mr. Magee looks weird,” one fourth grader said.

To the delight of the Lincoln School students, Van Dusen has a new book coming out on July 26 called “King Hugo’s Huge Ego.”

“It can be so solitary working as an illustrator,” said Van Dusen who works from his studio in Camden. “When I go to schools and read to my audience, it really reminds me why I do this.”

For more information on the successful Maine native, visit chrisvandusen.com.