Monday, November 18, 2013

Between Books - Walt Disney: 84 Fascinating Facts for Kids About Walt Disney

The first thing to remember is that Walt Disney: 84 Fascinating Facts for Kids about Walt Disney is a kids book.  So though many Between Books readers may read the book with a historical focus, it is important to remember who the audience is.  And with that in mind, despite some issues, it may help young readers know more about Walt Disney and his life.

Walt Disney: 84 Fascinating Facts for Kids about Walt Disney by Colin Mitchell is exactly as advertised.  There are 84 facts organized by theme in short sentences.  The facts are numbered and range from the early life of Walt Disney, his animation years, the building of his theme park and death.  They are all short and vary by the amount of detail provided.

Let us start with what I did not like.  First, like many Kindle books (I downloaded this book for free) the margins at times are off.  Some lines are indented deeper than others.  Second, some of the facts caught my attention and I wanted more.  For example, why did Ub Iwerks leave Disney employment?  Yes I know, but a child might also like to know Iwerks' next steps.  Third, there are additional editing concerns like not putting film titles in italics, putting them in quotes like they were shorts.  Fourth, there is a lack of balance in the facts.  For example the animation strike receives eight facts for an event that was relatively short but Disneyland only gets six.  And finally there are factual inaccuracies.  For example Mitchell states that Walt Disney had hired Lillian Bounds (the future Mrs. Disney) to ink his sketches.  Actually, Bounds was working on animated films and never sketched anything specifically drawn by Walt.  And the entire chapter titled Kansas provides facts about Walt Disney in Kansas City.  The Kansas City metro straddles both Missouri and Kansas with Disney having lived on the Missouri side of the metropolitan area.

Despite me finding fault in Walt Disney: 84 Fascinating Facts for Kids About Walt Disney, I do think that the book could make a child more interested in Walt Disney the man.  I do wish that the factual errors were corrected, so I do not know if I would pay for this title.  But for free, it could make one curious. 

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