Walt Disney: The Man Behind the Magic

Walt Disney: The Man Behind the Magic

by Tamra B. Orr

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—These volumes all start with two statements, and readers are encouraged to "Find the answer in this book" to discover which one is true. Some of the titles are biographies of famous businessmen (for example, Walt Disney), while others are topical (for example, entrepreneurship), which shows a lack of focus in the series. The length of the books and the large font suggest a younger audience than the content indicates. The writing style is often choppy and stilted (e.g., "No one gets very far by being ignorant….If you studied hard and learned a lot, you're going to do very well"). Chapters are short, with headings, large font, and plenty of captioned photos and reproductions, though some photos are grainy with distorted color. Overall, not an impressive set.
Children's Literature - Katie Kemple
Walt Disney had a love of drawing from a very young age. He sold his first illustration for a nickel when he was six years old and drew pictures on his parents’ house with a bucket of tar. As a teenager, he began taking art lessons at the Kansas City Art Institute and later at the Art Institute of Chicago. Disney started Laugh-O-Gram Films with a friend and began making his first short animations. When that business failed, he moved to Hollywood, California to form a new animation company with his brother: Disney Brothers Studio. Soon after, he hired an animator who later became his wife: Lillian Bounds. In 1926, Disney opened Walt Disney Studios where he would go on to create Mickey Mouse, the first animated film with sound (Steamboat Willie), and the first feature length animated film (Snow White). Later, Disney expanded to television with the Mickey Mouse Club and theme parks—Disney Land, Disney World and EPCOT. Orr’s biography of Disney highlights the big moments in Disney’s life while touching on details that children will find amusing and relatable. Sketches of Mickey Mouse, and frames from Steamboat Willie, Snow White and Bambi, showcase the mastery and beauty of Disney’s early successes. Disney’s legacy is fairly abbreviated in this book considering the heft of the Disney brand and the number of films children in this age group might associate with films produced after his death. The book also contains a useful list of reference materials, online resources and a glossary of terms for readers eager to learn more. Reviewer: Katie Kemple; Ages 6 to 9.

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Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
True Book: Great American Business Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
8 - 10 Years

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