- Age Range: 5 - 9 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
- Lexile Measure: 920L (What's this?)
- Series: Single Titles
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (February 6, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0761315381
- ISBN-13: 978-0761315384
- Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 0.3 x 10.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,768,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mack Made Movies (Single Titles) Hardcover – February 6, 2003
From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5-The creator of Uncommon Traveler: Mary Kingsley in Africa (Houghton, 2000) brings young readers a new treat-a picture-book biography of the moviemaker who made the Keystone Kops, Fatty Arbuckle, and Charlie Chaplin household names. Brown begins Mack's story on the burlesque stage, with his subject in costume. "In 1900, twenty-year-old Mack Sennett was a horse's rear end." Despite a disappointing career, Mack continued trying various slapstick routines to little avail or acclaim. In 1909, he landed a job with a movie company, and eventually persuaded a couple of others to help him produce slapstick comedies. The result was Keystone Pictures. Brown illustrates the various gags Mack first brought to audiences, from slipping on banana peels to throwing a pie into someone's face. The cartoon pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are done in subdued tones that give the book the feel of an old movie. The spreads are full of energy, moving across the page or spotlighting a specific gag. Occasionally, word bubbles are added to the drawings as Mack adds his own comments to the narrative. Brown gives readers just enough detail without making his story too long, supplementing the text with biographical comments and a bibliography in his author's note. For an added bonus, a small dog drawn in the right bottom corner of each spread dances when readers flip the pages. This is a thoroughly enjoyable and accessible introduction to the life of the "King of Comedy" and to the history of early moviemaking in America.
Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
*Starred Review* Gr. 1-4. Using his inimitable picture-book-biography style, Brown turns a camera's eye on film pioneer Mack Sennett. The opening line sets the stage for this witty, fascinating profile of the King of Comedy: "In 1900, twenty-year-old Mack Sennett was a horse's rear end." It was "a silly role in a foolish skit on a shabby Manhattan stage, but it was his stage debut and Mack dreamed of being a show business star." In concise, brilliantly understated text, Brown recounts how Sennett broke into the new entertainment business, how he applied slapstick techniques from Vaudeville to the movies, how his Keystone Kops became the hit of silent pictures, and how he introduced Charlie Chaplin to the world. Especially fine in conveying facial expression, Brown's spare, fluid sketches, softly washed in sepia and butterscotch tones, cunningly capture the look of the times. A tiny sketch of a dog dancing appears in the lower right-hand corner of each spread, forming a miniature flipbook, and boxed quotes spliced into the scenes add bits of Sennett's droll personality. A one-page author's note provides a wide-angle view of Sennett, followed by a seven-book bibliography of adult books. From its alliterative title and a narrative as precise as comic timing, to a cinematic beginning that spotlights Sennett donning the horse suit, this is like watching a pie-in-the-face routine; it simply smacks with delight. Ingeniously staged and picture perfect, it's Brown's best book yet. Julie Cummins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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The artwork is simple and distinctive (not overly bright and colorful, though - I find this restful, some people find it boring), and the well-researched books are enlivened by actual quotes by the hero in question.
This one is about a pioneer of the early movies industry and his life. Even if you're not familiar with the subject already, it's interesting and engrossing.