Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Sir Charlie: Chaplin, the Funniest Man in the World
Fleischman, Sid. 2010. SIR CHARLIE: CHAPLIN, THE FUNNIEST MAN IN THE WORLD. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 9780061896408 [Suggested Grade Levels 7-12]
Making and posting digital films is easier and more popular than ever. So, a biography about one of the earliest icons in the film industry definitely has a place in youth collections. Following the style of his other biographies, Fleischman lyrically details a fascinating subject in an accessible format. Large font, double-spacing, and appropriately placed pictures make this a good choice for the young researcher, and the expressive text will appeal to any who love a good story.
Chaplin’s absent drunkard father and mentally ill mother dealt him a childhood of abject poverty and instability. Familiarity with drunks, workhouses, and meanness added to his comedic repertoire, for he never forgot “how quickly laughter and tears changed places.” Using his innate people skills, he became the master of laughter and is still mimicked today. His rise to stardom in an ever-changing industry and his love for the artistry of his work makes a beloved rags-to-riches story. This fascinating tale of a historical legend should be highlighted in the collection.
Many young people may not be aware of silent movies. Have a silent movie day in the library. Show Chaplin’s films (with permission), pass out black moustaches, or dress up in Chaplinesque clothes. Using digital video cameras, help kids make their own five-minute silent movies to be featured on the library’s website, or post on YouTube (with parent permission).
More books about silent film personalities:
Avi. SILENT MOVIE. ISBN 9780689841453
Brighton, Catherine. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE KID: THE EARLY YEARS OF BUSTER KEATON. ISBN 9781596431584
Brown, Don. MACK MADE MOVIES. ISBN 9780761315384
Schroeder, Alan. CHARLIE CHAPLIN: THE BEAUTY OF SILENCE. ISBN 9780531113172
By Rebecca S. McKee