Monday, January 2, 2012

Between Books – Walt Disney: Creator of Magical Worlds

Walt Disney: Creator of Magical Worlds by Charnan Simon introduces children to the life, work and legacy of Walt Disney.  The book provides a survey of Disney’s life at a child’s reading level.  All of the significant periods of Disney’s creative career are included.  Topics addressed include Disney’s childhood, adolescence the development of the Walt Disney Brothers Studio, animated features, live action productions, television and finally theme parks.  The text is filled with pictures from throughout Walt Disney’s career.  Additionally there are information boxes that provide young readers with basic information about events like World War II.  This biography is part of a series called “Community Builders” which includes biographies on Thomas Jefferson and William Boeing.
As an adult, this book is a very straight forward biography of Walt Disney.  It is written to a reading level appropriate to children with pictures to help connect them to the text.  I was impressed with the scope of the biography including sentences about topics like the studio during World War II and Roy O. Disney’s relationship with his brother.  I was very surprised by the scope of a book that is under 50 pages.  The text is filled with pictures and an adult can read it very quickly.  The only misstep I found is a picture labeled as Walt and Roy, which the “Roy” figure seems to lack the Disney nose and appears to be younger than Walt.  But I was not able to find a copy of the picture online where I could identify if the subject was in fact not Roy O. Disney.
As an adult, I couldn’t be the final word on this book.  I slid my copy over to our junior reviewer.  Overall she enjoyed it.  It was about a fifteen minute read for our reviewer.  It can probably be handled by a young reader from third grade on up, and especially any younger reader in chapter books.  Our reviewer thought the pictures of vintage Disneyland were cool.  And she was shocked that every project that Walt Disney undertook was not a success.  She instantly connected Disney’s life to Meet the Robinsons and yelled out “Keep moving forward!”
Overall Walt Disney: Creator of Magical Worlds is a readable and fact filled biography for kids.  The text is full of pictures and historical context that help kids to better understand Walt Disney’s world.  It provides a good introduction to the historical life of Walt Disney for young readers. 

1 comment:

  1. The Winter 2011 Issue of Disney twenty-three includes the picture labeled Walt and Roy in Timothy S. Susanin's article "Walt's Missing Years." The caption in the article labels the picture from page 18 as Fred Harman of Kaycee Studios.