J.M. Barrie had no children of his own but was the guardian of five boys for whom he created the tale of Peter Pan, first written as a play.
Gr 2-6-This classic tale of the boy who wouldn't grow up, his earthly friends, and their adventures in Neverland is a popular subject for illustrators. This anniversary edition contains the "original unabridged text," but offers nothing unique or fresh. The abundant small illustrations and full-page spreads decorate, rather than enliven, the story. Ingpen's artwork is a combination of line drawings and pen-and-ink and watercolor paintings. Waiflike portrayals of the children and muted, hazy colors create a nostalgic "days gone by" aura. The colors and shading also emphasize the sense of fantasy. Unfortunately, they also create emotional distance. Both the story and characters lack visual energy. Neither the playful whimsy nor the lurking dangers of Neverland come through in the art. The depiction of the battle between Captain Hook's pirates and the Indians is laden with stereotypical images. Libraries needing another version of Peter Pan have plenty of choices, including editions illustrated by Michael Hague, Michael Foreman, Trina Schart Hyman, and Arthur Rackham. This one won't be missed.-Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.