Children's author to read at Marine Museum

Posted Wednesday, December 14, 2011 in Culture

Children's author to read at Marine Museum

Children's author Chris Van Dusen will read and sign copies of his book "The Circus Ship" at Penobscot Marine Museum from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, in an event highlighting the exhibit "The Circus Comes to Town."

SEARSPORT — Popular children's author-illustrator Chris Van Dusen will appear at Penobscot Marine Museum from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, for an event highlighting the opening of its winter exhibit "The Circus Comes to Town." Van Dusen will read and sign his book "The Circus Ship," and the museum will engage children with circus-themed craft activities and refreshments. The event is free.

"The Circus Ship" is based loosely on a true event. In 1836, a steamship carrying a circus caught fire and sank in Penobscot Bay, giving rise to legends about the survival of the circus animals on Vinalhaven. In his book, Van Dusen elaborates on those tall tales, turning a tragic event into a delightful and imaginative comedy for children.

After reading "The Circus Ship," Van Dusen will remain to speak with children and to sign books.

The book reading and signing will be adjacent to "The Circus Comes to Town," an exhibit of circus art, photography, and a collection of several hundred miniature circus figures known as the Bex Bros. Circus. The display features scale-model big-top and sideshow tents, performers, animals, circus vehicles, attendees and workers in an extravagant display model of a traditional American circus.

The exhibit also includes circus memorabilia, historic photographs, and circus art by Maine artists Alan Fishman, Nancy Morgan-Barnes and the late Waldo Peirce. The exhibit will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 17, 18, 29 and 30, and every Saturday and Sunday in January.  Admission is free.

Maine's first maritime museum, Penobscot Marine Museum is home to outstanding collections of marine art and artifacts, small craft, ship models and historic photography. The admission center is at 40 E. Main St. (U.S. Route 1) in Searsport. More information is at www.PenobscotMarineMuseum.org or call (207) 548-2529.

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