Born to Draw Comics: The Story of Charles Schulz and the Creation of Peanuts Author: Ginger Wadsworth Illustrated by Craig Orback 2019 Age range: 5-8 Charles Schulz when he was born was given a nickname based upon a character in a cartoon series: Spark Plug-Sparky. As a child Sparky used waxy-smelling crayons to fill his imagination, and he grew up reading the comics with his parents: he loved Mickey Mouse, Popeye, and Krazy Kat. When Sparky was 12 his family adopted a dog named Spike -a black and white hound who became his constant companion. As he grew older his drawing revolved around Spike and his adventures. His first published drawing was published by Bob Ripley for the Believe it or Not cartoon.
Sparky fought in World War II and when he returned, he found art related jobs, but not related to cartoons. His art reflected cartoons and kids, one in particular showing a kid kicking a football with the tag line “good grief” under the name of Li’l Folks. One newspaper picked up the cartoon and other offers started coming in including the Saturday Evening Post. His big break came when the United Feature Syndicate offered him a 5 year contract and Li’l Folks became Peanuts.
Ginger Wadsworth tells an incredible and vivid history of Charles Schulz and shows the early beginnings of one of the most beloved comics. Orback’s remarkable illustrations sets the stage for characters that we all know and love. A Bookish Decree: A wonderful tribute to a remarkable artist