Next book



From the From an Idea to series

Inspirational fare for uncritical younger capitalists and entrepreneurs.

A history of the Walt Disney Co., from Mickey to megacorporation.

Sichol folds in a highlights-reel profile of Walt Disney himself, noting that he started smoking as a teenager and died relatively young of lung cancer but avoiding any mention of racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, or other controversial topics. Her real focus is his commercial offspring—beginning with the failed Laugh-O-Grams Films and chronicling the subsequent, more-or-less continual string of spectacular successes and major acquisitions that has led to Disney’s contemporary status as the world’s largest entertainment company. Along the way she points to at least some things that make Disney products and properties distinctive, and she also introduces a basic vocabulary of business terms and concepts, including bankruptcy, mortgages, market value, branding, and (ironically, since Disney’s profound influence on current copyright law goes unmentioned) intellectual property rights. In common with the co-published From an Idea to Nike, the author also inserts a boilerplate section explaining the significance of “Going Public.” Jennings adds quickly sketched cartoon line drawings to the pull quotes, definitions, and lists of “Fun Facts” that punctuate the well-leaded lines of both sunny tales of corporate expansion.

Inspirational fare for uncritical younger capitalists and entrepreneurs. (bibliography, source notes, timeline) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-45360-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Next book



It’s an often-told story, but the author is still in a position to give it a unique perspective.

The author of Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America (2004) tells her father’s tale again, for younger readers.

Though using a less personal tone this time and referring to herself in the third person, Robinson still devotes as much attention to his family life, youth and post-baseball career as she does to his achievements on the field. Writing in short sentences and simple language, she presents a clear picture of the era’s racial attitudes and the pressures he faced both in the military service and in baseball—offering plenty of clear reasons to regard him not just as a champion athlete, but as a hero too. An early remark about how he ran with “a bunch of black, Japanese, and Mexican boys” while growing up in Pasadena is insensitively phrased, and a sweeping claim that by 1949 “[t]he racial tension was broken” in baseball is simplistic. Nevertheless, by and large her account covers the bases adequately. The many photos include an admixture of family snapshots, and a closing Q-and-A allows the author to announce the imminent release of a new feature film about Robinson.

It’s an often-told story, but the author is still in a position to give it a unique perspective. (Biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-54006-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

Next book



A squeaky-clean biography of the original Mouseketeer.

Scollon begins with the (to say the least) arguable claim that Disney grew up to “define and shape what would come to be known as the American Century.” Following this, he retraces Disney’s life and career, characterizing him as a visionary whose only real setbacks came from excess ambition or at the hands of unscrupulous film distributors. Disney’s brother Roy appears repeatedly to switch between roles as encourager and lead doubter, but except in chapters covering his childhood, the rest of his family only puts in occasional cameos. Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of Disney’s post–World War II redbaiting, and his most controversial film, Song of the South, gets only a single reference (and that with a positive slant). More puzzling is the absence of Mary Poppins from the tally of Disney triumphs. Still, readers will come away with a good general picture of the filmmaking and animation techniques that Disney pioneered, as well as a highlight history of his studio, television work and amusement parks. Discussion questions are appended: “What do you think were Walt Disney’s greatest accomplishments and why?” Brown’s illustrations not seen. An iconic success story that has often been told before but rarely so one-dimensionally or with such firm adherence to the company line. (bibliography) (Biography. 8-10)


Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-9647-1

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Disney Press

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

Close Quickview