Saturday, May 18, 2024

Snoopy's Beagle Scout Tales by Charles M. Schulz

Today's read isn't really anything new but heads into a much-loved direction. The Peanuts gang was well-known to me and my siblings, and my kids still enjoy watching some of their seasonal shows. I'll admit that I'm always a bit skeptical when it comes to the continuation of such series once the author is no longer creating them. So, I'm hitting this one with mixed expectations.

Peanuts Graphic Novels
by Charles M. Schulz
Simon Spotlight
Middle Grade Fiction
ages 8 and up
160 pages

Enjoy nature with the Peanuts gang in this graphic novel that features classic Schulz comic strips, previously published stories, and an all-new original camping-themed story!

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang spend time in the great outdoors in this collection of graphic novel short stories that includes the classic Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown! 

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The Peanuts gang heads to outdoor-camp adventure with all of their quirks and ideas to face new obstacles in their very own way.

This is a collection of five stories, each one heading outdoors to the realm of summer camp. At the beginning, there is a table of contents to help readers quickly locate the tale they want to visit. While one of these is written by Schulz (not illustrated, though), the other four originate from other authors but remain true to Schulz's general style. Between each one, there are short, original comic snippets from Mr. Schulz.

This is an endearing collection with the gang as they're known and loved. Charlie Brown is his usual, awkward self as he tries to overcome new obstacles. While even normal life aspects tend to give him trouble, he faces bullies and more in these adventures, always with his friends at his side. Of course, the Peanuts' gang has their inner-ripples, which lead to all sorts of funny situations. And Snoopy is underway with his troop of birds to sneak in that extra zest at all the right moments.

The stories are grabbing and hit a bitter-sweet note of truth, while keeping humor high. But that's also one of the reasons this gang is so enjoyed. Young readers will find many situations they can identify with and giggle (or roll their eyes) most of the way through. There are more than a few life lessons and times to groan right along with Charlie Brown, making it a relevant read to still enjoy. Some of these do come across with a tiny bit more bite than Schulz had, but it still remains very much along the lines Peanuts has embodied.

It was interesting to compare the artwork from the original to the 'new'. The artists have remained mostly true to Schulz's style but with clearer lines and brighter colors. This does make the reading easier/clearer for the intended age group. The wonderful personalities of the characters also guarantees that the reading skills are gently pushed thanks to the, sometimes, broader vocabulary in the dialogue. 

It's a fun collection for young Peanut fans or those who enjoy well-done, situation humor. 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Like you, I would be wary of something continued after the author's death. Glad they didn't change the graphics too much.

Tonja Drecker said...

Me, too!