A beautifully realized homage.

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MIEP AND THE MOST FAMOUS DIARY

THE WOMAN WHO RESCUED ANNE FRANK'S DIARY

When the Nazis came for Anne Frank’s family and the other Jewish friends who had been hidden in the secret annex, Anne left behind the diary that would be read and cherished around the world.

It was Miep Gies, with help from her husband and a few others, who hid and cared for them for two years, all risking their own lives. Anne wrote in her diary constantly, chronicling her loneliness and fears as well as the events and relationships she observed. Miep knew the Nazis would be back to steal the belongings, but she knew she could not let them find that diary. She locked it away to await Anne’s return. But Otto Frank was the only one who survived. Anne’s mother died of starvation, and Anne and her sister both died of typhus. Miep gave Otto the diary but never read it until long after it had been published. Anne wanted to be a writer, to be remembered, and her beloved diary achieved that for her. Pincus narrates the terrible facts accurately, not understating them but not allowing the horrors to overwhelm the intensely heroic accomplishment of this kind, courageous woman, employing quotes from Miep’s own writing. Solano’s full- and double-page spreads are done in shades of brown and sepia that perfectly capture the somber mood. Endpapers copy the original cover design of Anne’s diary.

A beautifully realized homage. (author’s note, biographical note, timeline) (Informational picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-53411-025-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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At its best when the emphasis is on the skill and artistry of Mime’s most accomplished practitioner—alas, too much of the...

MARCEL MARCEAU

MASTER OF MIME

The legendary mime is introduced to a new generation, though not entirely successfully.

As a child, Marceau loved to silently entertain his friends, like his idol, Charlie Chaplin. During the Nazi occupation of France, Marcel and his brother took on new identities in the French Underground, where they forged documents for Jewish children and helped many to escape to Switzerland. Spielman assumes that her young audience will understand references to deportation and concentration camps; unfortunately for those that don't, her matter-of-fact tone speaks more of adventure than deadly peril. Her tone subtly changes when she lovingly describes Marceau’s training and development as a mime and his stage persona of Bip the clown, admiring his skills in the “art of silence” that won him international renown. But here too, comparisons to the Little Tramp and Pierrot may be outside readers’ frame of reference. Though the illustrations carefully complement the textual content with period details, Gauthier’s cartoon faces are all nearly identical, with only the screen image of Chaplin and Marceau’s Bip having distinctive features. A double-page spread at the conclusion provides photographs of Bip in action and is the only clear indication of Marceau’s stagecraft.

At its best when the emphasis is on the skill and artistry of Mime’s most accomplished practitioner—alas, too much of the book looks elsewhere. (Picture book/biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7613-3961-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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WALT DISNEY

DRAWN FROM IMAGINATION

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 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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