Kirkus Reviews QR Code
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE KID by Catherine Brighton Kirkus Star


The Early Years of Buster Keaton

by Catherine Brighton & illustrated by Catherine Brighton

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59643-158-4
Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook

Born on the road to vaudevillian parents, “Buster” Keaton earned his nickname from fellow performer Harry Houdini after falling down several flights of stairs as a young child. That was but the beginning of a notable stage and film career highlighted by often-elaborate stunts that made him one of the first and greatest comic movie stars ever. In a short first-person account illustrated with precisely detailed period scenes, Brighton traces Keaton’s childhood in vaudeville and his introduction to the then-nascent art of filmmaking. Even while depicting a speeding locomotive demolishing a house and other renowned movie moments, her art has a formal air that perfectly echoes her central figure’s distracted, expressionless demeanor. Like Don Brown’s Mack Made Movies (2003), this engaging look back at the silver screen’s silent era captures the heady excitement of making—and watching—the early classics and can’t help but lead a new generation of viewers into rediscovering them. (author’s note, recommended sources and films) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)