Monday, January 04, 2016

MMGM- Peanuts

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe and What Are You Reading? day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Am I the only one for whom Snoopy and Ziggy means Christmas? Maybe back in the 1970s, there was a big push to merchandise both of these comic strips, but I seem to recall ornaments, cards, candles, etc. with these characters. When the movie came out, I figured that it was a good time to stock up on books on Charles Schulz, whom I admire a great deal. Maybe a new generation will appreciate his work. 

25409782West, Tracey. The Peanuts Movie (Movie Novelization)
September 22nd 2015 by Simon Spotlight

Charlie Brown and his gang are back, doing the same things they do in their cartoons and comic strips, but in narrative form. Adults say "Waa waa waa" on the phone and in class, Lucy throws her fits, Linus pontificates, and Peppermint Patty hulas to the beat of her own bagpipe. The Little Red Haired girl has just moved into a house across the street from the Browns, and Charlie gazes on her from afar, but eventually does make contact! Meanwhile, Snoopy writes his story of WWII on an "old fashioned" typewriter.

Strengths: Now I don't have to see the movie.
Weaknesses: Very derivative, if one has been reading the comic strip for 45 years.
What I really think: Not going to hurt anyone, and may amuse people. 

Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz. by 
October 20th 2015 by BOOM! Studios

A huge variety of modern day illustrators reimagine scenes from classic peanuts or tell their own stories using the characters. 

Strengths: Interesting to see how influential Schulz was.
Weaknesses: Weird size, and some of the illustrations (like the cover one) are creepy!
What I really think: This is the Wheaties of comic strip books-- not horribly bad for your health and doesn't taste bad, either.

7035021Gherman, Beverly. Sparky: The Life and Art of Charles Schulz April 21st 2010 by Chronicle

This book is beautifully formatted, with bright colors on the pages and plentiful illustrations and photographs. It also gives a great overview of Schulz's life and work, and talks about his childhood influences. If you need to replace outdated biographies, this would be the one to get. It's a bit heavy, dues to the good quality paper, and I hope it holds up well, because it was a delightful read. 

Yes, not doing well on CRITICAL reviews on this topic! Still feeling all pine bough and egg nog, I guess! Back to work tomorrow to clean out the back room. (Students are back on Wednesday. )


  1. I remember both Peanuts and Ziggy merchandise from my childhood! I haven't seen the new Peanuts movie yet, but will probably watch it once it comes out on DVD. (We haven't quite joined the streaming revolution yet.)

  2. I must get Sparky: The Life and Times of Charles Schulz. We have a few Peanuts books in the library and they are always circulation. In fact, they are always 'going missing.' There is something enduring about his work the continues to appeal to new audiences.

  3. I don't have any books about Peanuts or Charles Schulz in the library but I bet they would go over well. Thanks for reminding me. Here is what I read last week. Happy reading!

  4. Anonymous2:22 PM EST

    Hmmm....that cover is indeed a bit creepy...ugh....I think we all feel like good old Charlie Brown sometimes, or Lucy... ;)

  5. I love Sparky! I have it in my library at school, and I always forget to pull it off the shelf when I'm looking for NF books to use in my PD workshops. Thank you for the reminder!

  6. I really like the book Sparky. It's well done. We have it in our collection.

  7. Sparky sounds so interesting - adding it to my list!

  8. I have a girlfriend who is absolutely bonkers over Snoopy. Looks like these books would be perfect for her.

  9. I'll have to check these out. Took my kids to see the new Peanuts movie. It was surprisingly cute.