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It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez & Giveaway

Source: Dey Street Books
Hardcover, 160 pages
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It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez provides an inside look at how the television special about the great pumpkin and Charlie Brown came to be.  The prologue illustrates just how engrained Charlie Brown and the gang’s antics are in our popular culture, as politicians recently started using iconic scenes from the comics and movies to illustrate their own disappointments.

When Charles Schulz, Mendelson and Melendez created the Christmas special, they had low expectations that it would do well, but when it ranked #2 in 1965, they figured they earned a little confidence from the network, CBS.  The network executives, however, were still skeptical and were still not convinced even after the creation and success of a second special, Charlie Brown’s All Stars!  The executives basically called on them to create a blockbuster or else.  The recounted brainstorming session with Schulz is fantastic and the back-and-forth is inspiring as the animator and the creator of the comic bounce ideas around the room with Mendelson.

Included in the book are some great strips from the newspaper, photos of the creative team and actors, and the music sheets.  The book also includes the illustrated script for the special.  It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez is another wonderful keepsake or gift for the Charlie Brown aficionado in your life.  Slightly smaller than coffee table size, but great to put on the shelf, pull out on the holidays, and just share with the family any time.

About the Cartoonist:

Charles M. Schulz, nicknamed Sparky, was an American cartoonist, best known for the comic strip Peanuts. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time, cited as a major influence by many later cartoonists.

Giveaway:

For U.S. residents.  Leave a comment below about one of your Halloween or Christmas Traditions and one winner will be chosen to get both books — It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic and A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition!

Deadline to enter is Sept. 30, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST.

Other reviews:

A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition

  • Anna

    We don’t really have any Halloween traditions, but our Christmas tradition is that we go out on the Friday after Thanksgiving to each pick out a special ornament, then we go home and drink eggnog and decorate the tree. I don’t remember how that tradition started, but we’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember.

    I love the Charlie Brown specials, so these books look like true treasures.

  • anne

    Dressing up my sons was a delight. This was an experience and enjoyed by all since they were entranced with all of the costumes and going out on Hallowe’en never lost its lustre. Now the grandchildren are going to start.

  • bermudaonion(Kathy)

    Oh, how I remember looking forward to the holiday classics back in the day. Since they only came on once, it was quite an occasion. We don’t really have any Halloween traditions but I do love seeing the little ones in costume.