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Peter Pan Paperback – September 29, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"All children, except one, grow up." Thus begins a great classic of children's literature that we all remember as magical. What we tend to forget, because the tale of Peter Pan and Neverland has been so relentlessly boiled down, hashed up, and coated in saccharine, is that J.M. Barrie's original version is also witty, sophisticated, and delightfully odd. The Darling children, Wendy, John, and Michael, live a very proper middle-class life in Edwardian London, but they also happen to have a Newfoundland for a nurse. The text is full of such throwaway gems as "Mrs. Darling first heard of Peter Pan when she was tidying up her children's minds," and is peppered with deliberately obscure vocabulary including "embonpoint," "quietus," and "pluperfect." Lest we forget, it was written in 1904, a relatively innocent age in which a plot about abducted children must have seemed more safely fanciful. Also, perhaps, it was an age that expected more of its children's books, for Peter Pan has a suppleness, lightness, and intelligence that are "literary" in the best sense. In a typical exchange with the dastardly Captain Hook, Peter Pan describes himself as "youth... joy... a little bird that has broken out of the egg," and the author interjects: "This, of course, was nonsense; but it was proof to the unhappy Hook that Peter did not know in the least who or what he was, which is the very pinnacle of good form." A book for adult readers-aloud to revel in--and it just might teach young listeners to fly. (Ages 5 and older) --Richard Farr --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-7-- A pleasure to view, read, and hold, this new edition of an old favorite deserves space in every collection. From jacket painting, to cover (with Tinker Bell embossed in gold), to endpapers (dark maps of Neverland), Gustafson's artwork opens doors to glimpses of old friends and to new interpretations. Fifty oil paintings reveal expressive, changing characters. Peter Pan is dewy-cheeked, spry, wicked. Maternal Wendy is tender, then stoic. Even Hook is at times downcast. The Indians, proud and handsome, avoid stereotype. Masterly composition and use of light create dramatic full-page illustrations, accompanied by cameos of ordinary objects (kite, bear, tea kettle). Compared to Hague's illustrations for Peter Pan (Holt, 1987), which were dark and surreal, these are light and vital. Handsome bookmaking, Barrie's text, and Gustafson's pictures combine to breathe new life into Peter Pan's old shadow. --Carolyn Noah, Central Mass. Regional Library System, Worcester, MA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: A Bed Book (September 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8187981954
  • ISBN-13: 978-8187981954
  • ASIN: 1933652071
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (243 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #927,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Trimble on May 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
Peter Pan is the timeless classic everyone has grown up to. It has been passed down from generation to generation but it all started with one man, J. M. Barrie. When anyone tells the story of Peter Pan most adults don't think it is suitable for them. They think that it is simply a children's story and always will be. However, Barrie made sure that this story would be appropriate for all ages. Some of the language might be a bit difficult for the youngest range but the context helps to figure out a funny word or two. It appeals to the older range because of the layers it conceals. Behind each game they play is a message. Hidden under each smile Wendy gives to Peter is her hidden kiss. However, this story relates mostly to teenagers as they are going through the stage of growing up. Just days before I read Peter Pan I thought of how nice it would be to be free of homework and school. I thought how wonderful it would be to grow up and be independent. After reading this story, and seeing it exactly how Barrie told it, I don't want to grow up as much as Peter Pan and Wendy don't want to. I first heard the story, from seeing the movie, at a very young age, probably around the time I was 2 or 3. Disney tried hard to incorporate everything from the book but they didn't get every meaning or all the symbolism. For example, Mrs. Darling and Wendy Darling both have a hidden kiss. This kiss is hidden under the right hand corner of their mouths and only their true love can find it. Because Mr. Darling can't find Mrs. Darling's kiss, perhaps Barrie is trying to say that although she loves Mr. Darling dearly, he isn't her true love. Barrie fills his book with the perfect amount of detail and color. Children don't get bored because there is too much and adults don't need any more.Read more ›
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Joseph A. Psarto on March 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
"Peter Pan," or by its original title, "Peter and Wendy," when considered in its entirety is a grand read for an adult. The key to its enjoyment is the realization that all spoken and written words are metaphor. For even when words sit closely to reality they are not, and cannot be, the actual things they represent. They are signs! And sometimes they are signs of things not readily apparent and requiring work. Imagination is needed. And that is why all written words are fiction regardless of category, for even as they reach toward reality they are not themselves the same reality. It is a very interesting philosophical concept. The answer is found in Tolstoy's definition of art.

J.M. Barrie uses his story to attack certain English pretensions and inane formalities at the beginning of the twentieth century, life by rote being one, but "Peter Pan" is primarily about the mind and world of a child. The adults in the story are childhood concepts, as are the animals, water, earth, weather and sky. Childhood has no chronological border even though concentrated at the beginning of our lives, for it is perfectly capable of coming back now and again. Mine does. I hope yours does too, for if childhood never comes back the result might be insanity. And if it never leaves that too might bring madness.

I think that the most important lesson of "Peter Pan" is the final description of Captain Hook near the end of the story, not of his physicality, but of his character. It might very well be a reading child's first realization that we are good and we are bad, at the same time, every damn one of us, and that our sharing of such disparate qualities is cause for love and compassion.

"James Hook, thou not wholly unheroic figure, farewell."

That night Peter cries in his sleep.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Brown on November 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
For those who have never read J. M. Barrie's long, quirky & involved story of a boy who can fly, loses his shadow & talks with fairies & the girl who befriends him & learns to fly too. It's all there & I was surprised at how long it is. It could take a month of daily reading to your children to finish it!
This complete & unabridged original tale of Neverland(no, it was not ever Never Never Land!) is rich in Victorian/Edwardian England's sense of humor & propriety; of starched strangers getting to know each other across social barriers; of precious parents torn with guilt & passionate dogs bereft of duty. Of cocky young boys & mean-spirited pirates; of exotic redskins & luring mermaids & that dreadful ticking crocodile! Certainly not for the politically correct!
It is also rich in an entirely new way for Raquel Jaramillo has set Barrie's story to photographs in an immediate, fantastically textured, dreamy & magical way. This illustrator has refreshed the images to this oft-abbreviated story & revived its delightful & scary philosophies.
Psychology & political correctness aside, Raquel Jaramillo has done well with this master storyteller's greatest tale. Adults & children alike will be able to identify with the whole cast & once again become immersed in the magic.
"Second to the right & then straight on until morning..." how many nights did I slip into sleep, murmuring that phrase & dreaming I was on my way to Neverland where the Lost Boys made their homes(after all, girls were much too clever ever to fall out of their prams & get lost!)
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