Walt's Imagination: The Life of Walt Disney
Walt's Imagination: The Life of Walt Disney

Series: Big Words   

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Annotation: Describes the life of the animator and visionary, from his childhood in rural Missouri to his legendary stature as a film and television icon.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #154982
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Pomeroy, John,
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-423-18470-X
ISBN 13: 978-1-423-18470-6
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2017014810
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
A hagiographical account of the great animator's early years and later triumphs.Next to the rest of the inspirational and aspirational entries in the Big Words series (Martin's Big Words, 2001, etc.) this carries a muddled message. Rappaport gives the nod to many of Disney's creative innovations, but, particularly toward the abrupt end, Disney comes off as more control freak than genius. Efforts to sanitize his classic rags-to-riches career include a weaselly claim that he "felt betrayed" when his animators went on strike for proper pay and film credit (the accompanying picture shows him sulking in a chair as picketers march outside). Even in her afterword she neglects to mention some of his less-stellar achievements, such as his testimony before the House Un-American Activities Committee (and, for that matter, Song of the South). Several of the large-type taglines interspersed throughout are likewise bland ("Music has always had a prominent part in all our products"), and a closing reference to Disney's legacy in the modern theme parks' "many rides and many stores" sheds a rather commercial light on Walt's characterization of Disneyland as an organic tribute to all imagination. In the illustrations, Pomeroy, a Disney Studios veteran, supplies big, vivacious views of his subject at various ages, often surrounded by versions or sketches of Mickey and other cartoon creations as well as a largely white workforce. A shiny but veneer-thin profile. (timeline, illustrator's note, bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)
Publishers Weekly
Walt Disney may be a household name, but readers may be surprised to learn of the man behind the franchise. Rappaport introduces him as a child who found a reprieve from difficult family circumstances through performance and art. At 16, Disney joined the Red Cross and used his earnings to create his own animation studio; eventually, focus, determination, and -a mouse named Mickey- led to Disney-s success. Readers well versed in early Disney cartoons will recognize familiar characters in Pomeroy-s art-he uses a rich, painterly style to convey moments from Disney-s life and legacy. Setbacks, including an animators- strike and the onset of WWII, are offset by pivotal events, such as the planning and development of Disneyland. Readers may be particularly intrigued by details relating to the assiduous work of early animation. Ages 6-8. (July)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* This gorgeous biography relates the highs and lows of Walt Disney's life, from his childhood in rural Missouri to his experimental cartoon shorts to the creation of Disneyland. Rappaport lauds Walt's admirable qualities s drive and imagination d sprinkles his famous quotations within her narrative. In simple, straightforward prose, she also touches on Walt's controversial side, such as his unfair treatment of workers and disdain for unions. Pomeroy's exquisite one-and-a-half-page illustrations, however, are the book's main draw. His sharp shading showcases Walt's energetic facial expressions, and the thick paint casts shadowy creases in people's hair and clothes, mimicking the realism and liveliness that made Walt's groundbreaking animation so compelling. Sometimes, Walt's famous characters appear alongside him. In one image, a grinning Walt enacts a scene for an animator while the black-and-white Silly Symphonies skeletons dance in the background. In another, painters load cartoon cells onto a special camera, helped by Snow White and the seven dwarfs. This celebration of Walt's ingenuity and imagination covers the scope of his many visions, while also making it to clear to young readers that he had to work hard and take risks to make his dreams come true.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (6/1/18)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 2,373
Reading Level: 4.8
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 195852 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q74947
Lexile: 800L
Walt Disney's name is synonymous with family entertainment. Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Bambi, Disneyland, and numerous other creations have inspired generations of children the world over.
From his childhood in rural Missouri to his legendary stature as a film and television icon, Walt governed his life with imagination, ingenuity, and scrupulous attention to detail. Faced with both public failures and massive success, he revolutionized the art form of animation, always seeking innovative solutions, cutting edge technology, and new ways of storytelling. Devoted to perfection, Walt was not always easy to work with, but no one can deny his profound talent and impact.
Charting Walt's progression from farm boy to actor to artist, animator, director, and entertainment celebrity, Walt's own words are presented and contextualized within Doreen Rappaport's signature compelling prose. Illustrated with vivid authenticity by animator/painter John Pomeroy, this stunning entry in the award-winning Big Words series reveals a man of deep and varied passions with a constantly evolving vision, and a storyteller above all.

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