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Charles Dickens: Scenes from an Extraordinary Life
     

Charles Dickens: Scenes from an Extraordinary Life

by Mick Manning (Illustrator), Brita Granstrom (Illustrator)
 

Inspired by Charles Dickens' own words, Mick and Brita bring this extraordinary genius to life, revealing Dickens' childhood working in a London boot polish factory and charting his meteoric rise to fame as a young novelist. Follow him as he climbs a volcano, goes on tour to the US, presides at a family Christmas and gives a thrilling public reading. And discover

Overview

Inspired by Charles Dickens' own words, Mick and Brita bring this extraordinary genius to life, revealing Dickens' childhood working in a London boot polish factory and charting his meteoric rise to fame as a young novelist. Follow him as he climbs a volcano, goes on tour to the US, presides at a family Christmas and gives a thrilling public reading. And discover the stories of ten of Dickens' most famous novels, dramatised for younger readers with captions and graphic-novel comic-strips.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starting at the very beginning (“I was born on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night”), Dickens narrates his own life story in this biography from the team behind What Mr. Darwin Saw. Loosely rendered pencil-and-watercolor scenes with speech-bubble interjections from characters take center stage, while small illustrated sidebars provide additional context as Dickens moves to London, gets his first taste of theater, suffers family tragedies, and embarks on his career as a writer. A bonus: tidy comic strip–style panels provide quick summaries of several Dickens novels, which may whet readers’ appetite to further explore his writing. Ages 6–9. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
Excellent combination of historical facts, illustrations and cartoon strips really bring the great man's story to life. The key novels are fitted in chronologically so you get a sense of how they arose from the events of his life. Good for grown ups too.

Shows the power of the visual to awaken the imagination.

I couldn't resist this 'picture book' by Brita Granström and Mick Manning. I have learned more from their brief, non-fiction book than I would from most longer and perhaps 'worthier' works . contains the bare bones of facts while depicting the life of Dickens in great detailed drawings, sometimes cartoon style. A picture really can replace a lot of words.

The book provides a lively and comprehensive overview of the life of the great man . and would be a useful addition to a school library.

'This book is fun, informative and inspiring.'

  • "The award-winning duo bring Dicken's story to life for a primary-age audience, using comic-stips and facts."

"This is a good primer to everything one would need to know. The painted artworks captures the passing years on Dickens' face, and are very appropriate for the period conveyed."

  • "The award-winning duo bring Dicken’s story to life for a primary-age audience, using comic-stips and facts."

"This is a good primer to everything one would need to know. The painted artworks captures the passing years on Dickens' face, and are very appropriate for the period conveyed."

I couldn’t resist this ‘picture book’ by Brita Granstrom and Mick Manning. I have learned more from their brief, non-fiction book than I would from most longer and perhaps ‘worthier’ works — contains the bare bones of facts while depicting the life of Dickens in great detailed drawings, sometimes cartoon style. A picture really can replace a lot of words.

From the award-winning non-fiction team comes a dramatisation of Dickens' life told through a non-fiction picture book.

School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Manning and Granström chronologically construct this picture-book-length portrait around direct quotes from Dickens's books and letters. A quote from David Copperfield, for example, that alludes to his birth, launches the first spread, "BABY DICKENS—1812." The text is casual, not intimidating, and switches smoothly from the writer's voice to that of a third-person biographer. The book takes a fresh approach that effectively incorporates graphic-novel-style illustrative elements such as speech balloons and panels. This title breaks Dickens's biography into manageable pieces for novice readers.—Jill Heritage Maza, Montclair Kimberley Academy, Montclair, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
In celebration of the coming centennial of Dickens' birth arrives this graphic perusal of his life and work. Manning and Granström combine their talents again, as they did so capably in What Mr Darwin Saw (2009), to coax another tangible life out of the 19th century. Using a combination of multiple panels, boxes and wonderfully evocative background spreads, they roam through many of the experiences that shaped Dickens: pulled from school, his father thrown into debtors' prison, the pot-blacking work and then, yes!, success. The authors have used material from Dickens' letters, quotes and miscellaneous writings to shape the relatively ample narrative boxes, and the words flow like quicksilver: "I have often transcribed important public speeches on the palm of my hand, by the light of a dark lantern, in a post-chaise and four, galloping through wild country, through the dead of night!" This fits hand in glove with their colors, which are as deep as old dyes, and the general bustle of the urban scenes. Smaller, comic-book–like streams of panels give sensible, welcoming introductions to such works as Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House, A Christmas Carol and David Copperfield. A joyfully informal conveyance of the atmosphere and facts that swarmed around Dickens' life. (Picture book/biography. 8-12)
Simon Callow
…anyone of any age who is interested in Dickens would gain something from this book: its verve and wit are infectious. The darker side of Dickens is not dwelt on nor, for this readership, should it be. The subtitle sums it up very well: a wonderful, enduring introduction for young readers.
—The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847801876
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
11/01/2011
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom have won many awards for their picture information books, including the Smarties Silver Award and the English Association Award. Their books for Frances Lincoln include The Beatles, Charles Dickens: Scenes from an Extraordinary Life, What Mr Darwin Saw, Tail-End Charlie, Taff in the WAAF, The Secrets of Stonehenge, Dino-Dinners, Woolly Mammoth, the Fly on the Wall series: Roman Fort, Viking Longship, Pharaoh's Egypt and Greek Hero, and Nature Adventures. They have four sons, and divide their time between the North of England and Brita's homeland of Sweden. Find out more about their books at www.mickandbrita.com.MICK MANNING and BRITA GRANSTRÖM have developed a unique approach to picture information books over the last 21 years. Sharing the illustration between them and mixing words and pictures in inventive ways, they have won many awards, including the Smarties Silver Award, and are five-times winners of the English Association Award. Mick fell in love with wildlife on primary school nature walks many years ago, and has an MA in Natural History Illustration from the Royal College of Art. Brita grew up on a farm, and has an MFA from Konstfack in Stockholm. They spend a lot of their time having both Swedish and British Wild Adventures with their four children. Their other books for Frances Lincoln include: The Beatles; Charles Dickens, Scenes from an Extraordinary Life; What Mr Darwin Saw; Tail-End Charlie; Taff in the WAAF; The Secrets of Stonehenge; Woolly Mammoth; and the Fly on the Wall series: Roman Fort, Viking Longship; Pharoah's Egypt; Greek Hero.

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