Flying to Neverland with Peter Pan by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Carolyn Leigh and Amy June Bates
|Flying to Neverland with Peter Pan by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Carolyn Leigh and Amy June Bates|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: An unusual way of looking at the story of Peter Pan, using the lyrics from two songs from the musical Peter Pan. I'd personally prefer to read the real story, but it's a beautifully illustrated book and would probably work very well if you know the musical already.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 40||Date: October 2012|
|Publisher: Blue Apple Books|
There's something perennially magical about the story of Peter Pan. It's timeless, this story of a little boy who doesn't want to grow up, and who lives in a land full of pirates and fairies and mermaids and crocodiles. It's one of those stories that stays with you, which is why it's a classic, I suppose! In this version part of the story is told through the lyrics of two songs from the musical Peter Pan. The songs I'm Flying and Never Never Land are combined together to tell the story as far as the children flying to Neverland.
It's an interesting idea for a children's picture book, using song lyrics, however I'm not sure how successful it is. I found it frustrating that the story stops at the children flying off to Neverland because, obviously, there's so much more story still to come! It seems a shame to introduce the characters and then leave your little listener hanging as to what on earth happens! The other problem I had with the story being told through lyrics was that it's quite hard to find the rhythm as you read it aloud, without knowing the songs. For example in the flying song we read: Higher still look at how I can zoom around, 'Way up off the ground I'm flying! which doesn't read very well without knowing how the rhymes are being put together.
It's a shame that it isn't easy to read aloud. I felt it fell rather flat after reading it aloud to my daughter, and she was disappointed that the story was so brief since she loves Peter Pan. The illustrations redeem the story somewhat, they are soft and sweet and do capture the magic of the story. Peter looks suitably cheeky and charming, and there's a lovely illustration of him looking down on the children and them all raising their faces up to him and Wendy's expression is so soft and adoring. I also really liked the picture of the children jumping on the bed, in their attempts to fly, and it's drawn in a really interesting way, looking down on them from above so you see their upturned faces as they leap into the air - a really beautiful picture!
One of the pages has a fold-out double page illustration, of the children flying over London, which adds a little extra to the book, and there's a glimpse at the end of a pirate ship and mermaid's cove and the lost boys sitting listening to Wendy reading stories. But, frustratingly, this is where the story ends! I would've loved to have seen these illustrations in a proper Peter Pan story, and I'm sure it's possible to simplify the tale to fit into a picture book without losing quite as much as we lose here!
It's worth taking a look at this in the library, for the lovely pictures, but I probably wouldn't buy it unless you already know the musical. Fans would, I'm sure, appreciate the lovely pictures alongside of their well-known lyrics, but for those of us here for the story alone the book, unfortunately, leaves a lot to be desired.
Try taking a look at the beautiful pop-up version of the Peter Pan story: Peter Pan by Robert Sabuda
You can read more book reviews or buy Flying to Neverland with Peter Pan by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Carolyn Leigh and Amy June Bates at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Flying to Neverland with Peter Pan by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Carolyn Leigh and Amy June Bates at Amazon.com.
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