Illustrated by :Meghan McCarthy
Imprint:Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Audience:Juvenile: Age (years) 5 - 8, Grade (US) K - 3, Reading age 5 - 8
Dimensions:203.2 x 292.1 x 17.78 mm | 1.08 lb
Page Count:48 pages
Illustrations:4-c; reflective (spfx: foil, embossng, scuff-free matte lam, and spot gloss)
McCarthy presents an ambitious encapsulation of the birth of movies with humor and modern touches.
Blending her customary, big-eyed cartoons with a more sophisticated realism, McCarthy offers a stirring, occasionally quirky deep dive into early film. From Eadweard Muybridge’s galloping horse to the last movies of the silent era, a selection of famous films is presented as McCarthy chronicles cinema history. Meticulous art captures architectural details, silent film stars, and even the world’s earliest example of a silly cat video (“The Boxing Cats” from 1894). The book links early films with movies kids may have seen; the Maschinenmensch of Metropolis is paired with C-3PO of Star Wars, Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last with Hugo and Back to the Future, and so on. Some inclusions, like Johnny Depp’s appearance in Benny & Joon, are unfortunate in light of their stars’ behavior. McCarthy briefly addresses the prejudice confronted by people of color in the film industry, with special attention paid to Josephine Baker and contemporary films like Black Panther. Backmatter includes five stories from film’s past, all worthy of their own books. The overall effect is less exhausting than it is inspiring. Kids will reach the end and likely be disappointed that the story doesn’t continue. (This book was reviewed digitally.)
Movie history deserves no less than this stunning encapsulation, cleverly designed and gorgeously rendered.
(author’s note, bibliography) (Nonfiction picture book. 7-12) - Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW, 6/15/22