Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
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*        = Good, with reservations


****The Complete Peanuts

The Definitive Collection of Charles M. Schulz’s Comic Strip Masterpiece

Dailies & Sundays 1950 to 1952

by Charles M. Schulz

Reviewed July 7, 2004.
Fantagraphics Books, Seattle, 2004.  343 pages.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #3, Humorous Nonfiction

My husband has long declared that someone should publish an unabridged collection of the works of Charles Schulz.  So much so that when my son read that someone was doing exactly that, he told us that someone was doing “Dad’s idea.”  Of course we had to buy the first volume for him for Father’s Day.

This first volume includes all the Peanuts strips published in its first two years of existence.  Although I have to admit that some of the strips are not very funny, it’s wonderful to see Charlie Brown first get his striped shirt, Snoopy get his first thought balloon, and Schroeder begin to play the piano.

One of the great things about this book is the index in the back.  It tells you exactly which page contains important firsts, such as the first appearance of Lucy, the first use of the word “blockhead,” the first time a football is pulled away from Charlie Brown.  (It wasn’t actually Lucy, it was Violet!  She was afraid he’d kick her hand.)

Peanuts was the first comic strip that I ever followed in the newspaper or read a whole book from.  So I have a child’s love and an adult’s nostalgia for Charlie Brown and his friends.  It’s a delight to read all of the strips that are even older than me, to see how it all began.  You can be sure our family is going to purchase all of the subsequent volumes as they become available.  Hooray!  Finally a chance to read every single Peanuts strip.

Reviews of other books about the work of Charles Schulz:
Peanuts:  The Art of Charles M. Schulz, edited by Chip Kidd
Snoopy's Guide to the Writing Life, edited by Barnaby Conrad and Monte Schulz

More books in the series:
The Complete Peanuts: 1953 to 1954
The Complete Peanuts: 1955 to 1956
The Complete Peanuts: 1967 to 1968
The Complete Peanuts: 1969 to 1970
The Complete Peanuts: 1971 to 1972
The Complete Peanuts: 1973 to 1974
The Complete Peanuts: 1999 to 2000

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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