Peter Pan and Wendy by J M Barrie
|Peter Pan and Wendy by J M Barrie|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: An abridged version of JM Barrie's classic story of the boy who never grew up, with illustrations by Shirley Hughes.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? No|
|Pages: 32||Date: November 1993|
|Publisher: Red Fox|
Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up, whisks Wendy, Michael and John away to Neverland. They fit right into daily life with the Lost Boys, chasing after the wild beasts, who are chasing after the Redskins, who are chasing after the Pirates, who are chasing after the Lost Boys, round and round the island.
Everyone knows and loves JM Barrie's classic tale. Everyone has, at one point or another, clapped loudly and said they believe in fairies. Through the book, films, or pantomimes, everyone's booed and hissed at Captain Hook's bad form. It's an old favourite that has been loved for generations, and will be loved by future generations.
...But. But this version is abridged. It's been so long since I read the original I can't put my finger on what's specifically missing, but it certainly feels light and unsatisfying. You'll romp through the book from start to finish before you get a feel for any atmosphere, without building up any tension, and without really getting a chance to fully enjoy one of the greatest children's stories.
Shirley Hughes (best known for the Alfie and Dogger books) has provided the illustrations. On the face of things, it sounds like a marriage made in heaven, but being just black and white drawings, they lack the vibrancy and colour of the original story. Tinker Bell almost blends into the background, rather than sparkling. Hughes' drawing style is as good as it ever was, but it doesn't quite gel here. Had the book been unabridged, they would have fitted significantly better, but in an abridged version they're being asked to replace the missing atmosphere, and they just don't quite manage to do that.
They're somewhat petty criticisms, I know, but with such a classic children's story, there's no point accepting a lesser version. This copy of Peter Pan and Wendy is a missed opportunity, rather than there being anything particularly wrong with it.
Thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
If you liked Peter Pan and Wendy, you'll also like Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling.
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