August 6, 2019

Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry!) by Gary Golio, illustrated by Ed Young

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 4:07 pm by suebe2

How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry!) 
by Gary Golio
illustrated by Ed Young

How do you bring a silent movie star to life for young readers today?  Check out Smile and you will see!

Charlie Chaplin’s mother and father were both actors although his father had left.  Charlie lived with his mother and older brother Sydney.  But times were good because his mother was a talented actress and singer.  Charlie wore a velvet suit and his mother called him The King.

But when her singing voice gave out, she earned less and soon her money was gone.  Charlie picked up a few coins wherever he could, singing and dancing outside of pubs.

I don’t want to give a blow by blow recital of the book because you want to read it yourself.  Golio traces the development of Chaplin’s career and style.  He shows young readers without being preachy how laughter and tears are emotionally linked and how Chaplin adapted his character, the tramp, from a sad derilict of a man he had known growing up.  The emotions in this book will resonate with young readers.

Young’s mixed media collage compliments the story well and presents another duality.  He uses subdued tans and black in various textures, echoing the limited colorscape of Chaplin’s earliest films and the dull dreary world of poverty.  But throughout are clippings of color and pattern – a rich woman’s gown, a curtain at the theater, and brightly colored tumbling characters.  These characters echo the bright sparks of laughter that Chaplin’s clowning and pratfalls brought audiences.

Young artists will love reading about how Chaplin’s early life shapes and colors his performances and career.  Older fans of Chaplin’s work will be pulled into a book that shows them a different side of his character.  Check it out and share it with someone today!


November 22, 2008

What To Do About Alice?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 4:28 am by suebe2

fotheringham1What To Do About Alice?  by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

Scholastic Press, 2008

AR Level 5.2

Think biography is ho hum?  Then pop open the covers of a marvelous adventure subtitled How Alice Roosevelt Broke the Rules, Charmed the World, and Drove Her Father Teddy Crazy!

Kerley’s text is a fast-paced galloping tale about Alice who wouldn’t let leg braces, being a girl, or being the President’s daughter slow her down.   But seriously, should we really expect anything else from Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter?  Come on.  We’re talking Teddy Roosevelt!  Keeping that in mind, Alice is everything you would expect and more.  Learn how she lived her life to the fullest from the time she was a child way up into her eighties although for the full effect you’ll have to read the back matter too.

Book design creates a historic feel with a taller than wide format and illustrations that, though digital, pair with the text to contribute a wealth of historic detail. 

And don’t think that this book is just for girls.  The humor and sense of adventure as well as Emily Spinach will all appeal to boys as well.  

A great choice for kids who love real and true.  A great choice for the irrepressable child in us all.   



The taller than wide format and Fotheringham’s

%d bloggers like this: