Synopses & Reviews
Everyone knows the story of the raft on the Mississippi and that ol' whitewashed fence, but now itand#8217;s time for youngins everywhere to get right acquainted with the man behind the pen. Mr. Mark Twain! An interesting character, he was...even if he did sometimes get all gussied up in linen suits and even if he did make it rich and live in a house with so many tiers and gazebos that it looked like a weddinand#8217; cake. All thatand#8217;s a little too proper and hog tied for our narrator, Huckleberry Finn, but no one is more right for the job of telling this picture book biography than Huck himself. (Weand#8217;re so glad he would oblige.) And, heand#8217;ll tell you one thingand#8212;that Mr. Twain was a piece a work! Famous for his sense of humor and saying exactly whatand#8217;s on his mind, a real satirist he wasand#8212;perhaps Americaand#8217;s greatest. Ever. True to Huckand#8217;s voice, this picture book biography is a river boat ride into the life of a real American treasure.
"This playful biography of Mark Twain narrated by his most famous of characters, Huckleberry Finn begs to be read aloud with a backwoods twang. 'Him bein' an author, you might 'spect he went to one of them fancy-pants schools people brag about. Heck, Sam hardly went to school at all! He growed up bein' poor, same as me, in a dusty village,' declares Huck. Blitt (What's the Weather Inside?) contributes whimsical caricatures in pen, ink, and watercolor; a cherubic and ruddy-faced Huck, with a straw hat and a mop of hair over one eye, appears in each spread, appearing to play the dichotomous role of peeping tom and guardian angel (in one scene, he sprawls on a light fixture watching Twain write Huck's adventures as small cartoon figures of the characters paddle a raft right across Twain's pages). Enlarged and varied typefaces, used for emphasis and headings, may initially distract, but, as with the dialect, add to the delight. Burleigh's (Good-bye, Sheepie) book highlights the life of a great American author and is sure to whet readers' appetites for more about its straight-talking narrator. Ages 7 10. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
andlt;bandgt;The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn. andlt;BRandgt; andlt;/bandgt;andlt;BRandgt; Burleigh, Robert (Author) , Blitt, Barry (Illustrator)andlt;BRandgt; Mar 2011. 48 p. Atheneum, hardcover, $17.99. (9780689830419). andlt;BRandgt; The neat switcheroo in this picture-book biography has the story of Mark Twainand#8217;s life told by one of hisandlt;BRandgt; most endearing characters, Huck Finn. As one might expect, Huck isnand#8217;t the most articulate of narrators (and#8220;I ainand#8217;t no highfalutinand#8217; talkerand#8221;), and he would probably rather be doing just about anything else: and#8220;This ainand#8217;tandlt;BRandgt; intendinand#8217; to be some windy biografy. I donand#8217;t lean much to writinand#8217;, and I donand#8217;t fetch to books much neither,andlt;BRandgt; and#8217;specially long ones.and#8221; Although Huckand#8217;s narration is almost overwhelmingly folksy, his undeniably cheeryandlt;BRandgt; tone is infectious. He succinctly traces Clemensand#8217; life from a boyhood romping around the shores of theandlt;BRandgt; Mississippi to his odd-jobbing endeavors as a steamboat captain, newspaper reporter, soldier, andandlt;BRandgt; prospector until he finally finds his true calling, as a and#8220;for-real writer,and#8221; and becomes one of the mostandlt;BRandgt; famous men in the world. Blitt, a frequent New Yorker cartoonist, provides jaunty, cartoony pen-andwatercolor artwork, with exaggerated, tall-tale figures and period charm aplenty. Just the biography to reinforce, or even introduce, Twainand#8217;s stature as a nearly mythological figure in American letters.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;iandgt;and#8212; Ian Chipmanandlt;BRandgt; andlt;bandgt;BOOKLISTandlt;/bandgt;andlt;/iandgt;, February 15, 2011
The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn
Written by Robert Burleigh and illustrated by Barry Blitt
Robert. The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn.
illus. by Barry Blitt. unpaged. chron. CIP. S & S/Atheneum. 2010. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-0-689-83041-9. LC 2010006512.
Gr 4-8-What would Huck Finn have to say about his creator? Burleigh and Blitt take an unusual perspective in this picture-book biography. In Huck's colloquial voice, a portrait of Twain emerges that is engaging, accessible, and highly original. From his boyhood on the Mississippi, through his riverboat days, his writing and public speaking careers, and his adult family life, the main points of the writer's life are covered. Blitt's humorous illustrations are a perfect match for the tall-tale-inspired text. Rendered in pen, ink, and watercolor, the caricature style suits both Huck's voice and Twain's life. The muted blues and browns of the palette have an old-fashioned quality that amplifies the 19th-century setting. The cover illustration, of Huck on a book "raft" paddling with a fountain pen, cleverly demonstrates the book's premise. Although children will be entertained by the account, the most enthusiastic audience may be students familiar with Twain's work. One does not need to know Huck's story to understand Twain's, but doing so will increase appreciation for the ingenious nature of this collaboration.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
- School Library Journal March 1, 2011 STAR
Mark Twain--a real American life...as told by Huckleberry Finn
Everyone knows the story of the raft on the Mississippi and that ol’ whitewashed fence, and now it’s time for young ’uns everywhere to get acquainted with the man behind the pen. Mark Twain, famous for his sense of humor and saying exactly what was on his mind, remains one of America’s greatest satirists, and his life history is as interesting as any of his fictional tales—especially when told from the perspective of one of Twain’s most memorable characters, Huckleberry Finn. True to Huck’s voice, this picture book biography is a riverboat ride through the life of a real American treasure.
About the Author
Robert Burleigh is the award-winning author of many books for children, including andlt;iandgt;The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finnandlt;/iandgt;, illustrated by Barry Blitt; andlt;iandgt;Night Flightandlt;/iandgt;, illustrated by Wendell Minor; and andlt;iandgt;Black Whitenessandlt;/iandgt;, illustrated by Walter Lyon Krudop. His many other books include andlt;iandgt;Hoopsandlt;/iandgt;; andlt;iandgt;Stealingandnbsp;Homeandlt;/iandgt;; and andlt;iandgt;Clang! Clang! Beep! Beep!andlt;/iandgt; He lives in Michigan.Barry Blittand#8217;s illustrations have appeared dozens and dozens of times on the cover of andlt;i andgt;Theandlt;/iandgt; andlt;iandgt;New Yorkerandlt;/iandgt; and have also graced the pages of the andlt;iandgt;Chicago Tribuneandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;i andgt;Theandlt;/iandgt; andlt;iandgt;New York Timesandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;Entertainment Weeklyandlt;/iandgt;. He is the illustrator of andlt;iandgt;Once Upon a Time, the End (Asleep in 60 Seconds)andlt;/iandgt; by Geoffrey Kloske and andlt;iandgt;The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finnandlt;/iandgt; by Robert Burleigh, as well as other picture books. He lives in Riverside, Connecticut.