Note: The Disney Blog is pleased to welcome Penguin Young Readers and “I am Walt Disney” as a sponsor. Compensation was received in exchange for this post, however, all editorial decisions are our own.
Since I first heard about “I am Walt Disney” from Penguin Young Readers, it has been high on my list of books to read. I’m definitely not the target market, but I feel like the book really fills a need in Disney fandom today – to introduce Walt Disney and his accomplishments and vision to a new generation.
Although the company bears his name and so do the theme parks and resorts, Walt himself has fallen from the forefront of what the company does, and therefore has moved out of the public eye. The picture book does more than just introduce Walt Disney to a new generation of Disney fans, it explains the why behind his legacy. Hopefully, it will serve as a springboard for further exploration into the man who started it all by those who read it.
Beyond the recounting of Walt Disney’s life, the book has a lot going for it. The illustration style by Chris Eliopoulos is quirky and fun. It reminds me of comic strips known for their childlike wonder – Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes. I really like the decision to keep Walt Disney represented at child height throughout the book. I think it helps keep a sense of wonder throughout the book and keep the story at something of a child’s perspective.
I also like how the book has the character of Walt narrating his own story. These are his accomplishments and his legacy.
Knowledgeable Disney fans will also find Easter Eggs hidden throughout the book. For instance, on the section about the creation of Disneyland, Imagineers Mary Blair and Rolly Crump are illustrated as characters on the page.
The “I am Walt Disney” picture book is a part of a series of biographies from Penguin Young Readers. Each tells the story of a significant historical figure in a simple, clear way that makes the hero a role model for children everywhere.
“I am Walt Disney” is available to pre-order now and will be available to pick up at your favorite bookstore on September 10.
About “I am Walt Disney” Author:
Brad Meltzer is the New York Times bestselling author of Heroes for My Son, Heroes for My Daughter, and a number of suspense novels like The Escape Artist. He is also the host of the History Channel television shows Brad Meltzer’s Decoded and Brad Meltzer’s Lost History (in which he helped find the missing 9/11 flag). He lives in Florida with his wife and their three children.