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Pencils, Pens & Brushes: A Great Girls' Guide to Disney Animation
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Pencils, Pens & Brushes: A Great Girls' Guide to Disney Animation

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Based on the critically acclaimed Disney Editions title, Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation, this nonfiction picture book is a fun and inspiring look at a few of the amazing women who have worked at Disney Animation over the years—from sculptors to inkers to painters to story artists, all with unique personalities and accomplishments, such as becoming a worl ...more
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Disney Press
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  141 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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Start your review of Pencils, Pens & Brushes: A Great Girls' Guide to Disney Animation
Flipped through. I'm happy to see more "hidden figures" getting attention like this. I found myself wishing for more examples of the artists' own work, and less references to them as "girls". Illustrator Lorelay Bove appropriately echoes the style of Mary Blair. This is a young reader's edition of "Ink & Paint." ...more
Meredith Spidel
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disney sent me an ARC for review, and I love this book! It's beautiful. Full of details young artists (and old!) will find fascinating, inspiring stories and lots of gorgeous inspirational quotes and pages. I'm delighted to share this with my young daughter!
I thoroughly enjoyed this collective biography of influential women in Walt Disney Animation History. We've heard about Walt's Nine Old Men, but this books shines a light on the contribution of the many women who shaped the early days of Disney animation through their artistry, performances, and science. The colorful illustrations in this book depict each "Great Girl" of Disney animation beautifully, and suit the 20th century aesthetic of the topic quite well. Through each 1-2 page biography, th ...more
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
One of those collections of mini-bios about women. This one focuses entirely on women who worked at Disney during the early years. I really wish there'd been some examples of their actual works. Don't get me wrong, Bove's Mary Blair influenced art is gorgeous, but I would have also liked to have seen some of Mary Blair's actual work.
Becky B
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
An illustrated collection of 2-6 page biographies of the women artists who worked on early Disney animations.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this doesn't just highlight the illustrators, but also the women who served as dance models, singers who gave a voice to the animation, paint chemists who invented new ways to bring color to the screen, story creators, and various others who filled integral roles in the animation process that aren't often talked about. So this book highlights a broa
Kristin Nance
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Calling all Disney lovers! If you are a Disney fan, Pencils, Pens, and Brushes: A Great Girl’s Guide to Disney Animation, is the perfect book for you! Telling the untold stories of Disney’s female animators, writers, and painters, Mindy Johnson has curated the perfect blend of inspirational quotes and stories into her book. My personal favorite is the story of Mary Goodrich, who wanted to be a journalist. However, she was told she must have a pilot’s license first before they would hire her. Tha ...more
This nonfiction picture book (about 77 pages) is a colorful and fun look at some of the women who made contributions to the world of film and Disney animation from the 1920s through the 1950s. A lot of these women achieved "firsts" such as Dorothy Ann Blank who was the first woman to receive a credit for writing a Disney feature-length animated film (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) to Hazel Sewell who became the first woman to receive a credit as an Art Director within animation (Snow White and ...more
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-6-non-fiction
I enjoyed all of the references to the Walt Disney animated movies I so enjoyed growing up, in Pencils, Pens & Brushes. It was fascinating to discover the women who worked on intricate portions of each Disney movie, from the writer Dorothy Ann Blank who changed classic tales, into successful animated movies such as Snow White. So many of the artisits and writers in this collection of mini biographies went to the Chouinard Art Institute in California, where Nelbert Chouinard established an excell ...more
Having recently read The Queens of Animation, I was excited to find this book. The writeups are brief but fairly interesting. I wish, though, that instead of having the facing pages hold inspiring platitudes (some of which had to stretch a bit to tie in and/or rhyme), they had shown some of the person's actual work. The illustrations are very stylized and while attractive and colorful, I'm not sure I could recognize a single one of the illustrated versions as specifically the person it represent ...more
I loved the idea of this, but it was really disappointing. I felt like I learned about Walt Disney.... not the contributions of these women. Or at least, MORE about Disney than the women. Did you know that Walt Disney changed the name of Chouinard Art Institute to California Institute of the Arts? I mean, I guess he didn't change it to Disney something... so that's something. And there were so many times that what the women did was awesome(!) but not at Disney? So like... why is it a guide "to D ...more
Aug 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I am torn on this one. I love a good book that introduces readers to new individuals and their remarkable accomplishments but this one felt a little generic and its message forced. The illustrations are darling but the text feels like reading a Wikipedia entry...nothing unique or compelling about the "voice". And I didn't care for the message after each biography telling me exactly what I was supposed to take away from the woman's story. I did love meeting who these women were and want to do fur ...more
Panda Incognito
This beautifully illustrated book teaches young readers about some of the women writers, artists, and animators who worked at Disney during the twentieth century. I enjoyed learning about their careers, and was pleasantly surprised to discover how many women held significant roles in the studio even during its early days, but the book's trite, cheesy inspirational messages keep it down to a three-star read for me.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book belongs on every shelf. For young and old, and even for those who don't much like books(!), this read is highly accessible and beautifully complimented by the gorgeous artwork of Lorelay Bove. It is a necessary partner to Mindy Johnson's stellar chronicle, Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation, as it whimsically n' wonderfully highlights key accomplishments of many Great Girls who inspire with each and every turn of the page. ...more
laura (bookies & cookies)
I feel like you need a more intermediate understanding of Disney Animation (the Ink & Paint Department, the workflow, what cels are) before reading this book, but it is also incredibly elementary in the biographies of these women and the tone used. Yes, it is a children's non-fiction book, however, it also demands much of the reader. Additionally, the coloring of the different women's skin was... odd. Black women drawn to look lighter and white women drawn to look more tan... yikes. ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
ADORABLE. I should say; I'm heavily biased as I am a very big fan of Disney BUT, this lovely book is truly inspirational. If you have any budding animators in your life, this would be a great bit of encouragement. Also, the illustrations by Lorelay Bove are STUNNING. I want to frame every page, but I'm not willing to tear a book apart, so...
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Definitely peaked my interest into learning more about these women.
BreAnna (Bre'sBooks)
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Love this artwork. Interesting to learn about some of the amazing work of women in Disney's classic animation.
Lisa D
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Great book for Disney junkies like me!
A semi-lengthy biography about early Disney contributors who were women. Features artists, dancers, a voice actress, and women who worked on some of the science behind colors.
Amanda Walz
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
A good group biography book. It skims over different women who worked for Disney Animation.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love art, animation and Disney. I support anything that empowers women and spot lights amazing women in history. Bought this book not only because it has great artwork by Lorelay Bove but also for the mini bios. It would benefit from having original artwork from the artists mentioned, but overall it's a fun light read for all ages. Would love for the Disney Company to come out with an art book showcasing the contributions of these women.
La_Pire (TheWorstReader)
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I mostly bought this book because the art in it is beautiful. The great thing is it isn't only the art that is great but the info inside of it. The book is meant for children and explains how 'great girls' achieved their dreams, not only in the Disney industry but also in their personal life and other work achievement. I think it is an awesome book to read for little girls and for Disney fan alike.
At first, I did not want to buy this book because I thought it would be unnecessary, but WAS I WRONG. So wrong, I can't believe it. This book has so many amazing woman and tales inside and the art is wonderful! It's a nice and cute book about some amazing women working for Disney, that I think should be talked more about.
rated it it was ok
Jan 27, 2020
Heidy Williams
rated it it was ok
Mar 27, 2020
rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2019
Kathi Rauscher
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Was privileged to be able to read an advanced copy of this book. As a lover of all things Disney I truly loved this book. The artwork and layouts were beautifully done. Reading about the pioneering women within the Disney Animation studios at its beginnings was fascinating. Highly recommend to not only Disney fans but also fans of animation.
Alexandria Leonis
rated it it was amazing
Sep 15, 2019
Stefanie Kellum
rated it really liked it
Feb 14, 2020
rated it really liked it
Dec 10, 2019
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