Sparky: The Life and Art of Charles Schulz

by Beverly Gherman

In 1922, the man who created the beloved comic strip “Peanuts” was born.... read more

In 1922, the man who created the beloved comic strip “Peanuts” was born. Charles Schulz, nicknamed Sparky by an uncle within a week of his birth, was interested in drawing from an early age. Whether sketching Popeye on classmates’ notebooks in school, submitting a strip for a contest, or enrolling in art school, Sparky worked toward his dream of becoming a cartoonist. Even while serving in the army during World War II, he decorated fellow servicemen’s letters home with doodles. Author Beverly Gherman reveals Sparky’s inspiration for the humorous strips that could simplify universal concepts in three or four panels. From the barber shop where his father worked, to the neighborhood kids who became the characters Linus and Lucy, Sparky always connected his life experiences to his strips. As his personal life changed through marriage, divorce, and children, his career continued to flourish, eventually winning him the prestigious Reuben Award (twice) for cartoonist of the year. Bright, colorful pages with contrasting text, opposite photographs and samples of strips that include early “Peanuts” sketches and characters, comprise the eye-catching design for this compelling biography. (Ages 10–14)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011

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