Keep Your Eye on the Kid: The Early Years of Buster Keaton

Catherine Brighton, Author, Catherine Brighton, Illustrator . Roaring Brook/Flash Point $16.95 (28p) ISBN 978-1-59643-158-4

Brighton (My Tour of Europe by Teddy Roosevelt Age Ten ) follows the great silent actor and filmmaker Buster Keaton from his birth to vaudeville parents to his early 30s, when he emerged as a daring comic auteur. The helicopter-parented generation should find the stories of Keaton’s itinerant, rough-and-tumble showbiz life tantalizing: he got his start at age three when his father literally threw him across the stage (“Keep your eye on the kid!”), and he attended only one day of school (“Yep, I got expelled for wisecracking, and that was it. I never went back. Ever”). Brighton has created many picture biographies, and this may be her best effort yet. The tough-talking first-person narration has the cadence of someone who was treated as an adult almost from birth; the detailed images evoke the mise-en-scène of silent movies and give a dreamy grace to even the most slapstick moments. Readers of any age will close the book with an itch to see Keaton’s movies—or at least catch his most famous scenes on YouTube. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 04/14/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Genre: Children's
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