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Maine author takes storytime online

Chris Van Dusen posts a popular nightly bedtime story video on Facebook and Youtube, while many families are staying home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

CAMDEN, Maine — From the comfort of his Camden home, Maine author and illustrator Chris Van Dusen reads one of his books aloud. His audience is slightly different then his typical classroom or gymnasium, his listeners are families at home turning to his daily post while hunkering down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Van Dusen says his school visits have been canceled through October after many districts shutdown. A local children's librarian from Skowhegan requested videos of Van Dusen reading for a virtual story hour and it took off.

"The thing just kind of blew up," said Van Dusen. "We didn’t expect it at all, and before we knew it over half a million people have seen this thing.”

Since the first video on Sunday, hundreds of thousands of viewers have tuned in to take a break from either working remotely or watching their children. The videos can be found on his Facebook and YouTube Channel.

“I feel for the young parents that really have to juggle between doing homeschooling and trying to do their job," said Van Dusen. "I mean that’s got to be really tough and that’s one of the reasons we decided to do the readings for them.”

Van Dusen works in his home studio drawing pictures all day long, so he can relate to those new to the stay-at-home workforce. He suggests getting out every now and then to get some fresh air and make sure you have a pair of comfortable slippers.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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