From Kirkus review: The creator of the world’s oldest surviving full-length animated film is celebrated in this straightforward biograph
I am all for women in history and biographies for kids about women, but when you get the same handful over and over, you get bored. Or at least I do. And then when I find a person that is not like the others, that is in a new area or did something fantastic, and was not the same old, I tend to get terribly excited about it and I am terribly excited about Cut!: How Lotte Reiniger and a Pair of Scissors Revolutionized Animation.
Lotte Reiniger was born in Germany 1899 and would go on to use an old form of art to create movie magic. This picture book uses the highlights of Reiniger’s life and focuses on the years of Reiniger movie work to tell her story (like the time she helped a director move wooden mice a little at a time to make them look like they were running, all the while hiding in a sewer). The afterwards, by author C. E. Winters, says Walt Disney is more known for their similar style of animation and using the tools Reiniger created making her lost to history, and this is their way to bring her back to popular culture. We follow Reiniger as she creates her movies for not just her classmates’ entertainment anymore, but for larger audiences around the world, and even the three years she took to make the first over an hour long animated movie. We see a quick mention of her marriage and finally her impact on movies and animation. The afterwards has more information about her life and the timeline gives us a more linear idea of what happened. I find everything about this woman fascinating. Not just the movies themselves or even her impact on them in the early years, but even the fact she lived through two world wars (and during World War II would still be creating her movies!) and would die in her 80’s and kept creating until she couldn’t is fascinating. Having read the adult graphic novel of Alice Guy, and she was one of the first women of film, I am excited to see that she was not alone, and animation firsts are not lost as well.
And of course you cannot have a picture book without pictures (unless you are the picture book The Book with No Pictures), I need to mention Matt Schu and their illustrations. Yes, they have all the good things I love about a book: good colors, good details, good representation of the subject, and good support for the story. But the art also has a pop that is fun and exciting. It moves things along and keeps you entertained. They are really awesome and are the perfect fit for Winters words.
Available now, I read via an online reader copy.