Monday, August 8, 2011

Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me

Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me and All the Other Peanuts CharactersTitle: Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me and All the Other Peanuts Characters   Author: Charles M. Schulz   
Publisher: Doubleday and Company, Inc.
Publication Date: 1980
Genre/Format: Autobiography/Chapter Book
Summary: Charles Schulz, creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the entire Peanuts gang recounts his story of drawing as a child through adulthood and how the Peanuts characters has evolved. 
What I Think: This book was published in the same year that I was born!  Obviously, it's a little dated and Snoopy has come along even more than when Charles Schulz wrote this book but it was fun reading all about the Peanuts characters who are still relevant today. What I loved most was reading about how he developed the qualities that each character would possess and how those characteristics really make it possible to relate to the characters.  Poor Chuck, it still makes me sad that he is still trying to kick that silly old football.
This is just my kind of non-fiction. I love reading about real people who are truly ingrained in pop culture. I love having the insight into his life and his thinking as he creates the Peanuts comic strip that so many people have come to love. While I was reading it struck me so strongly when I read the quote (see below) about how Mr. Schulz himself wasn't really aware of comic strip artists who were creating the comics that he loved.  Bringing an awareness of writers and their craft to students is so important in helping them realize how much thought goes into writing.  It's the same for comic strip artists.  For those kids who really identify with comics or graphic novels, I think it is so important for them to realize that people have a job to create these formats and that these are jobs maybe they would be interested in.
Read Together: 5 - 12 
Read Alone: 6 - 12
Read With: Other autobiographies about famous people
Snatch of Text:  
     "Actually, I don't really know if I was aware that there were such things as comic strip artists. I liked the funny papers and I was fascinated by them and read every one, but I supposed I didn't realize that you could make a living drawing until I was in my early teens." p. 17
     "Our personalities and characteristics are established, usually, by the time we are five or six years old, but the lids are on.  We are like boiling pots on a stove, and when we are small, the adults keep the lids on.
     As children, we cannot express ourselves the way we would like to, but as we grow older, the lids pop off, and the characteristics come out." p. 34
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Expository 
Writing Prompts: Research what skills, training or education would be helpful to pursue a job or career such as being a comic strip artist - create an informational document to share with others.
Topics Covered: Personality, Characteristics, Writing, Drawing, Generating Ideas 
Translated to Spanish: No


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