Childhood of Famous Americans: Walt Disney: Young Movie Maker - Marie Hammontree
Paperback; ISBN: 9780689813245
A biography concentrating on the boyhood of the cartoonist and film maker who created Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.
Read a review of Walt Disney: Young Movie Maker by Marie Hammontree, written by Teresa Eschen, homeschooling mom of a 14, 12, and 10 year old.
So I’m the kind of homeschooling mom that can turn even a trip to an amusement park into a school lesson. And when I say “can” I really mean “feel the need to”. I’m actually a bit of a work-a-holic, and amusement parks, quite unlike the rest of my family, are not top on my “best ways to use my time” list. However, while working on making sure our inventory at Eagle’s Nest was accurate, I came across the book, Walt Disney: Young Movie Maker by Marie Hammontree. I grabbed the book and thought, “Perfect! History!”
Walt Disney: Young Movie Maker is an entertaining and easy read aloud, which I was able to complete entirely on our drive from Northern to Southern California. Geared for Ages 8-12 the sentence structure is fairly simple, and I found myself adding “and” to connect shorter sentences into longer ones. The vocabulary is not over simplistic, but varied and engaging. Written in conversation style the author takes some liberty in creating dialogue that probably didn’t happen exactly as the book relates. However in essence the details are correct, and are related in a very entertaining and easy to remember way. Also, a couple of moral issues come up and were not dealt with in the same way our family would deal with them, which brought up potential for discussions. I didn’t like that the story finished before the end of Mr. Disney’s life. We needed to look up on Wikipedia how Mr. Disney’s life ended. But, I guess that was actually an additional exercise in research!!
I appreciated the book more when we were leaving our hotel this morning to go to Disneyland. I was giddy and even jumping up and down with excitement (not exactly a common thing for me to do!). I said, “I’m so excited, and I don’t know why.” To which my youngest said, “But Mom, remember we read that Mr. Disney made the park for the adults too.” I appreciated the book even more once we got to Disneyland. I used to think the animatronics were a bit hokey until I read in the biography how Mr. Disney invented the process, and now I can really appreciate the genius that went into creating animatronics. In addition to all of these things, I now understand why Mickey is a mouse, as well as the significance of the Disney train and the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction (including the picture of young Walt Disney and his friend Walt Pfeiffer).
Thanks to this wonderful book my family responded really well to my adding an educational element to our trip to Disneyland, and I grew to appreciate Disneyland, and had more fun there than I ever have!