Charles M Schulz's comic strip characters occupy a special place in my heart. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and all the others...no other hand-drawn creations have come closer to capturing what it means to be a young kid in an adult's world.
In order to do that effectively, however, you have to retain your 'inner child' and, let's be honest, how many of us can claim that there's still one inside us given the world we live in today? Hardly surprising, then, if whatever essence actually does still remain hasn't been subdued, denied, sent packing or just plain mislaid over time. Charles Schulz was one of the lucky ones and he certainly put whatever he had to very good use.
This book celebrates the 50th Anniversary of 'Peanuts', and contains many of the classic comic strips published over that period, alongside Schulz's own memories of growing up in middle-class America. With many laugh-out-loud gags and wicked one-liners, the simple nature of the strips often belie a deeper, more thoughtful take on life. It's a comedy masterclass to be sure, but issues such as love and loss, self-worth and anxiety also get a look in. That's the magic of a very understanding 'inner child' at work.
In short, a FUN book with some truly unforgettable characters who are far from irrelevant. Read it and weep, Bart Simpson.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED