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.
Gary Golio has led many lives: visual artist, high-tension electrician, musician, clinical social worker & therapist, arts teacher, gallery director, and children’s book author. He enjoyed an early love of comic books (1950s DC, 1960s Marvel), and originally hoped to pattern his life after Leonardo DaVinci, Spider Man, and Doctor Strange. So he became an artist and author, and removes live spiders from his house when his wife asks him.
But seriously: each of Gary’s books highlights an artist/musician’s roots and influences, promoting the idea that artists are models of persistence and commitment, embodying values of imagination, hopefulness, and self-acceptance.
Caldecott medalist Ed Young was born in Tientsin, China, and brought up in Shanghai. He cites the philosophy of Chinese painting as an inspiration for much of his work. “A Chinese painting is often accompanied by words,” he explains; “they are complementary. There are things that words do that pictures never can, and likewise, there are images that words can never describe.”Mr. Young has been illustrating children’s books for more than twenty years and has won many awards. He received the 1990 Caldecott Medal for his book Lon Po Po, and his much-lauded collaboration with anthologist Nancy Larrick, Cats Are Cats, was named one of the Ten Best Illustrated Books of 1988 by The New York Times.Mr. Young studied at the University of Illinois, the Art Center of Los Angeles, and Pratt Institute in New York City. He and his family live in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.copyright 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.