A noteworthy review of Basic Biographies from Booklist on April 1, 2010
The Basic Biographies series gets off to a good start with this well- chosen biography of a timeless figure in children’s entertainment. With an intelligent brevity, the authors relate Schulz’s career in very general terms: ‘Charles went to high school. Then he spent some time in the army. He married and had children. Charles always kept drawing.’ It’s this last fact that, through subtle repetition, becomes the book’s inspirational chorus. The book follows the familiar format of left-side text, right-side photograph, a strict balance it alters only once to allow a reproduction of the very first Peanuts strip from 1950. The historical photographs are evocative (the shot of Schulz’s simple desk brings him to life more than anything else), and the captions are even more succinct than the rest of the writing: ‘Charles drew his cartoons at this desk.’ Although specific TV shows are not itemized, they are mentioned alongside Thanksgiving floats and awards. ‘Charles Schulz made many people happy,’ the book concludes—a sweet and simple statement befitting the humble cartoonist.