The Peanuts Book (2020) – Simon Beecroft

Good grief, Charlie Brown you’ve got a new book from DK Canada! The Peanuts Book: A Visual History of the Iconic Comic Strip, is, for me, the perfect feel good book.

Even my initial leaf through its pages caused me great delight, and sent me spiralling down the rabbit hole of nostalgia. Charlie Brown and Snoopy have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, though I always seemed to relate more to Linus. Growing up the only holiday special I had to see come Christmas was A Charlie Brown Christmas (the music is as much a part of my personal history as it is theirs!) everything else was a bonus.

I was an avid reader even then, and I had piles of Peanuts paperback compilations of the daily strip. I remember sprawling on my rug on the floor of my bedroom delighting in the countless moments that resonate with the young and the old.

Created by Charles M. Schulz it could be argued that Charlie Brown is as American and nostalgic as Norman Rockwell. I think Charlie Brown, Woodstock, Schroeder, Lucy et. al. are more than that, they are childhood and life rendered in pencil strokes, moments from all of our lives are recognisable in those boxes, in the animation cels, and more.

Beecroft provides us with a timeline of Schulz’s life, highlighting important life events as well as iconic moments and introductions from the long running series.

The book takes us through his workspace, his work habits and character breakdowns on all of your favourite characters, all of whom have changed over the years, but perhaps no more than Snoopy (and any of his countless alter egos like Joe Cool), who has become as much a symbol of Peanuts, as Charlie Brown, perhaps even more so.

It also details the awards, the recognition Schulz and his characters got as well as the way the character have endured into the 21st century. I love this book! It’s filled with strips, images, artwork and collectables that show how far the Peanuts gang has entered our lives.

DK Books have become the masters and gatekeepers of my nostalgia, guiding me through long forgotten moments and memories, and like Star Wars, Star Trek, and uncountable movies, comics and books, the Peanuts gang has been there with me. Learning their history, and seeing how it ties in with events in my own life, resonates within the chambers of my heart.

These characters have come to mean so much to so many people around the globe from their first appearance to their latest escapades, and Beecroft’s book celebrates all of those things, reminding us of the times, presenting us with iconic characters and moments; giving us a permanent membership in the Peanuts gang.

The Peanuts Book is available from DK Books now. Good grief, don’t just stand there! Go and pick it up!

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