Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)

 
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Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
8+
Release Date
March 26, 2019
ISBN
978-0763697617
Buy This Book
      
Once there was a little slip of a boy who roamed the streets of London, hungry for life (and maybe a bit of bread). His dad long gone and his actress mother ailing, five-year-old Charlie found himself onstage one day taking his mum’s place, singing and drawing laughs amid a shower of coins. There were times in the poorhouse and times spent sitting in the window at home with Mum, making up funny stories about passersby. And when Charlie described a wobbly old man he saw in baggy clothes, with turned-out feet and a crooked cane, his mother found it sad, but Charlie knew that funny and sad go hand in hand. With a lyrical text and exquisite collage imagery, Gary Golio and Ed Young interpret Charlie Chaplin’s path from his childhood through his beginnings in silent film and the creation of his iconic Little Tramp. Keen-eyed readers will notice a silhouette of the Little Tramp throughout the book that becomes animated with a flip of the pages. An afterword fills in facts about the beloved performer who became one of the most famous entertainers of all time.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Famous Transformation
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
'Smile: How Young Charlie Chaplin Taught the World to Laugh (and Cry)' by Gary Golio, illustrated by Ted Young, is an interesting look at the life and makings of Charlie Chaplin and his most well-known character, The Tramp. It starts off telling about his life, including how his mother and brother fit into it, and includes colorful illustrations that guide readers on the journey that he took to become the most famous version of himself.

It would have been nice to learn a bit more about who he was after his transformation into the Charlie Chaplin people still know today, but the afterword and “Facts About Charlie Chaplin” page helped shed more light on his persona. It is also nice that the author thought to include a “Resources” page at the end of the book to allow readers to learn more about Charlie Chaplin through books and movies that they see fit to review further. There was also a bit too much text for young readers, but the story still flowed pretty nicely.

For those curious to learn more about Chaplin's history, this biography of sorts does a nice job of sharing the beginnings of his life and career. The lyrical writing also makes for a smooth and engaging read.
Good Points
For those curious to learn more about Chaplin's history, this biography of sorts does a nice job of sharing the beginnings of his life and career. The lyrical writing also makes for a smooth and engaging read.
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