Charles Schulz, nicknamed “Sparky,” was the artist behind the Peanuts comic strip for more than 50 years and delighted the world with his popular characters—Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the gang—based on people the cartoonist knew. Readers will relish the opportunity to get the inside scoop on the beloved strip: Schulz wanted to call the strip “Li’l Folks,” but that didn’t fly with his employer; Charlie Brown’s personality was born when Schulz’s marriage proposal was rejected; Snoopy is the character who best mirrors Schulz’s feelings about the meaning of life. Gherman’s clear and direct prose is just right for portraying the life of the famous cartoonist for young readers. The splashy, bright design, with multicolored pages and several of Schulz’s cartoons included, makes this a cheery read that may well introduce the Peanuts comic strip to a new generation, who likely know Charlie Brown mostly through the holiday TV specials. An informative yet lighthearted look at the life of an American icon. (author’s note, bibliography, index) (Biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8118-6790-0

Page Count: 125

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2010

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In tribute to this country’s proud tradition of protest, fine artist Shetterly has chosen 50 Americans who have stood up for what he calls “the promise of America,” presenting them in a series of accurately painted head-and-shoulder portraits with their names and a pithy quote scratched in. His selections, equally divided between men and women, range from such usual suspects as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to the less-familiar likes of child peace activist Samantha Smith, political columnist Molly Ivins, authors Frances Moore Lappé (Diet for a Small Planet) and Jonathan Kozol, plus controversial figures such as Emma Goldman and Dwight Eisenhower. The telling quotes are reprinted in the margins to make them more legible. Opening with an eloquent general statement of purpose, and closing with biographical comments on each entry, this gallery of writers, politicians, rabble-rousers, troublemakers, scientists, celebrities and activists will have a stirring cumulative effect, even on children unacquainted with many of their causes or accomplishments. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-525-47429-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2005

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At Home With The Presidents (176 pp.; $12.95; Sept. 24; 0-471-25300-6) Morris offers succinct biographical information and anecdotes about all 41 presidents with brief information about homes they grew up it, historic sites dedicated to them, or libraries in which their artifacts are housed. Included are small pictures of the presidents and some of the buildings discussed. Readers will find the book of limited use for research, since the sources for quotations are not given, there is no index, and material considered controversial is not attributed. Appearing out of context are statements such as “George Washington adored his older brother” and “George’s mother was jealous of the two brother’s relationship.” The information on historic sites is upbeat but bland, and could have come right out of tourist brochures. (b&w photographs, illustrations, further reading) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 1999

ISBN: 0-471-25300-6

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1999

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