Kirkus Reviews QR Code
BORN TO DRAW COMICS by Ginger Wadsworth


The Story of Charles Schulz and the Creation of Peanuts

by Ginger Wadsworth ; illustrated by Craig Orback

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-17373-7
Publisher: Henry Holt

The story of how Charles Schulz became a cartoonist and created the “Peanuts” comic strip.

“Someday, Charles, you’re going to be an artist!” said Charles Schulz’s teacher after he had drawn an odd snow scene with a palm tree in a snowbank. Charles, nicknamed Sparky by an uncle, always liked to draw, and his family always read the comics together. Sparky would copy his favorite characters for practice, and he even submitted a drawing of his dog, Spike, for the Believe It or Not cartoon, and it was accepted! After high school, he began submitting cartoons to popular magazines and piled up many rejection letters. Eventually, though, the Saturday Evening Post started buying his single-panel cartoons, and the United Feature Syndicate offered Schulz a five-year contract if he would develop his characters further: “Peanuts” was born. And there the volume ends, with Schulz on the verge of great success as a cartoonist, information about the “Peanuts” gang—Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and others—reserved for the backmatter. The illustrations were created with pen and ink, colored pencil, and gouache paint, and frequent use of paneled illustrations appropriately suggests Schulz’s future comic-book world. It’s a largely white world; the only reference to a character of color is in the backmatter, with Franklin in the dramatis personae of the “Peanuts” strip.

An appealing but oddly truncated biography.

(author’s note, artist’s note, places to visit, sources, notes) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)