Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Brooks on Books: "Carol Burnett" (Little Golden Book)

It's difficult to summarize the career of beloved TV legend Carol Burnett in a few sentences. It's quite possible to do so in an adorable children's picture book, though, as Andrea Posner-Sanchez (text) and Kelly Kennedy demonstrate in Carol Burnett: A Little Golden Book Biography.

I wasn't aware that the company had branched out so extensively from fairy tales and The Poky Puppy to not just notable IP (go to a rack at your local bookstore and see all the Little Goldens based on DC, Disney, Marvel, Dora, SpongeBob, etc.), but to biographies of famous real-life individuals. There are books for Betty White, Lucille Ball, and, oh, yeah, non-TV stars like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.

I was interested in getting the Carol Burnett story, and wonderful Wife of the Show Laurie got it for me. There is a lot of compression, of course, in 24 pages, and there is little about her career after The Carol Burnett Show, but the book gets the high points. You won't see a lot of the darkness, but you get the other highlights, like the ear-tugging and even The Garry Moore Show.

The illustrations are charming, with Kennedy's style age appropriate but also befitting the subject somehow. My favorite part of the book is a two-page spread showing the cast in a hospital sketch. Not only do you see Carol, Harvey, Tim, and Vicki, but you even get to see a Little Golden Book version of the Lyle Waggoner!

This is a fun little book that may be more for collectors and TV fans like us than for the alleged target audience. I am glad to have it on my bookshelf, though, and I love the idea of introducing the wee ones to legends like Burnett.

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