Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)
Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)
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Annotation: With a lyrical text and exquisite collage imagery, readers will learn of Charlie Chaplin's path from childhood through his beginnings in silent film and the creation of his iconic character, The Little Tramp.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #175009
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Young, Ed,
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-7636-9761-3
ISBN 13: 978-0-7636-9761-7
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2018961167
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
Children meet Chaplin in this intimate biography of the iconic silent-film comedian, whose movies, humor, and story grow ever more distant to each generation of readers.Children unaware of Chaplin will immediately feel moved by young Charlie's bleak origins: an empty stomach, dancing for pennies, an absent father and sick mother, and frequent moves in and out of the poorhouse. They will pull for him hamming it up in a children's theater troupe and stand beside him watching "old Rummy Binks," a local eccentric, outside a pub holding horses for pennies. Charlie would later appropriate Binks' baggy clothes, bowler hat, crooked cane, and funny penguin walk to become his own Little Tramp, making the close association between laughter and tears. Young's collages harness muddy and murky colors, silhouettes, torn papers, threadbare burlap and floral fabrics, jaundiced newspapers, and ink linework to evoke both Victorian times and the silent-film era. A succinct afterword, facts, and resources section offers kid-friendly biographical highlights, films, and books to encourage further exploration of this extraordinary comedian, filmmaker, and composer. Observant readers might notice the black silhouette of a little tramp in the bottom-right corner of each spread. Those intuitive enough to flip the pages will delight in a primitive but undeniably magical experience.Readers who watch him waddle their way and extend a wave are certain to return his timeless greeting. (Picture book/biography. 6-12)
Publishers Weekly
Golio and Young create a lively and poetic homage to Charlie Chaplin. Despite living in poverty, Chaplin-s household fostered his love of acting, clowning, and musical theater. Golio-s rhythmic prose conjures the spirit of tragicomedy behind Chaplin-s performances: -Charlie began to understand/ How Funny and Sad went hand in hand.- Young-s ink and torn paper collage-work includes newsprint, colored paper, fabrics, and shadowy silhouettes; the sophisticated, abstract images communicate the exaggerated theatricality of silent film, as well as Chaplin-s iconic style and underlying complexity. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)

Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Golio has a gift for penning picture books about subjects that, at first glance, may not seem all that attractive to young readers: Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and, now, the Little Tramp. Nevertheless, Golio and Young's final product is one with undeniable appeal. Charlie Chaplin had a difficult childhood in Victorian and Edwardian England, yet even when "it was off to the poorhouse," he developed his talent for singing, dancing, and making people laugh: "Charlie was funny, a natural . . . With his deep-blue eyes, he'd hypnotize. / With his body, he'd tell stories." The biography's verse, open and light, still packs in pathos and pleasure as "Charlie began to understand / How Funny and Sad went hand in hand." His growing success as a performer brought him to America, where he solidified his fame in films. Young's collage-and-ink art, with its signature abstractness, is made especially accessible: its shadows, shapes, and outlines suggest and show the subject's evolution up until the last page turn, when an instantly recognizable photograph of Chaplin's iconic character cinematically snaps it all into place. An afterword provides further showbiz context and facts, resources, citations, and relevance (he showed "us how someone small could be clever and strong"); a bottom-corner page flip animates the Tramp's signature walk; and the entire package will indeed bring a smile.
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: 3-6
Lexile: 750L

An award-winning author and a Caldecott Medalist take a creative look at the early life of comedic genius Charlie Chaplin.

Once there was a little slip of a boy who roamed the streets of London, hungry for life (and maybe a bit of bread). His dad long gone and his actress mother ailing, five-year-old Charlie found himself onstage one day taking his mum’s place, singing and drawing laughs amid a shower of coins. There were times in the poorhouse and times spent sitting in the window at home with Mum, making up funny stories about passersby. And when Charlie described a wobbly old man he saw in baggy clothes, with turned-out feet and a crooked cane, his mother found it sad, but Charlie knew that funny and sad go hand in hand. With a lyrical text and exquisite collage imagery, Gary Golio and Ed Young interpret Charlie Chaplin’s path from his childhood through his beginnings in silent film and the creation of his iconic Little Tramp. Keen-eyed readers will notice a silhouette of the Little Tramp throughout the book that becomes animated with a flip of the pages. An afterword fills in facts about the beloved performer who became one of the most famous entertainers of all time.

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