Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean and David Wyatt
|Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean and David Wyatt|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An abridged version of the author's sanctioned sequel to the original Peter Pan will delight children of seven and over. The text is superb and the illustrations stunning. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 96||Date: October 2008|
When an author dies their characters die with them. The unique brain which created them – and is part of them – has gone. Often we're left wondering about what happened next, but I've come to the conclusion over the years that sequels written post mortem are best avoided. They're usually a disappointment, some even manage to taint my enjoyment of the original and I'm left muttering that some people will do anything for money. Just occasionally I've been proved wrong and I'm delighted that Peter Pan in Scarlet is one of those exceptions.
Wendy and John are now grown up and have families of their own but a series of strangely real dreams, of pirates and mermaids, of war paint and crocodiles tell them that all is not well in Neverland and they must go back there to help Peter Pan. Everything has changed in Neverland and there are dangers there that even the dreams had not foretold.
Peter Pan was originally a play and then it was a book. A hundred years ago its success made J M Barrie the most successful author in Britain. In 1929 Barrie gave all the rights to Peter Pan to The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children and over the years it's proved to be a remarkably valuable gift. In 2007 the original book went out of copyright and it was presumably for this reason and to garner publicity that the hospital decided to sanction a sequel in 2004. This was done by competition and the winner was Geraldine McCaughrean, with the original Peter Pan in Scarlet published in 2006.
Unsurprisingly it was an immediate best seller – McCaughrean is an exceptional writer and her sequel is skilful, very readable and has the benefit of those wonderful characters. I felt that it appealed as much to adults as to children, with a very dark vein running through it. This latest, illustrated edition is an adapted version of McCaughrean's original text, done with younger readers in mind and I can't imagine there being a seven year old (or above) who won't love this book.
McCaughrean's original Peter Pan in Scarlet had artwork by David Wyatt, but here his illustrations are lavished throughout the book – I really can't think of any other way of describing it. There's hardly a double-paged spread without at least one illustration and they're all in great detail and splendid colour. It really is a book to read, re-read and to treasure.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
We have seen other 'Peter Pan' books, including some imaginative paper engineering but this book is head and shoulders above anything bar the original by J M Barrie. If you're looking for something of similar quality we can recommend Nut Cracker by Jan Pienkowski and David Walser.
You can read more book reviews or buy Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean and David Wyatt at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean and David Wyatt at Amazon.com.
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