Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry) (Hardcover)
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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.
About the Author
Gary Golio is the author of Bird & Diz, also illustrated by Ed Young. He has written several best-selling and award-winning picture-book biographies, including Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow, When Bob Met Woody, and Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey. Gary Golio lives in Hudson Valley, New York.
Ed Young is the illustrator of Bird & Diz, also written by Gary Golio. He has illustrated more than eighty books for children, among them the Caldecott Medal winner Lon Po Po, which he both wrote and illustrated. He says that his work is inspired by the philosophy of Chinese painting. He lives in Westchester County, New York.
Golio and Young create a lively and poetic homage to Charlie Chaplin...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.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Golio and Young's final product is one with undeniable appeal...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...a bottom-corner page flip animates the Tramp’s signature walk; and the entire package will indeed bring a smile.
—Booklist (starred review)
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...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.
The duo that illuminated musicians Bird and Diz present the backstory of an internationally acclaimed silent film star, director, and composer...Thoughtful design presents the blank verse rendered in white on black—or the reverse—paying homage to the subject’s filmmaking, as does the tramp silhouette on the base of each recto that animates when flipped. Adults will appreciate the informative and creative approach, as well as the afterword, bibliography, and textual nod to the titular lyrics. Children will cheer for the class clown’s success.
—School Library Journal
This biography of an icon of the silent film will charm its readers with the exquisite, colorful ink and torn-paper collage images and its lyrical text.
—New York Journal of Books
Smile pairs a wonderful tale that brings a lyrical quality to the story and beautiful illustrations that will capture any little and not so little one's attention.
—The Way We Watch (blog)
An outstanding tribute to a genuine icon of the entertainment industry, Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry) is fascinating and thoroughly inspirational in every way.
—Kendal A. Rautzhan's "Books to Borrow...Books to Buy"
Ed Young's illustrations...evoke Chaplin's black-and-white movies and his versatile physicality, adding the perfect (occasionally comical) touch to the story.