Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M. Barrie Illustrated by Robert Ingpen

Standalone. Orchard Books (October 2004) Library
Join us in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the beloved classic tale of Peter Pan, with this gorgeous storybook containing the unabridged, original text complemented by luminous new art.

The beloved story of the boy who won't grow up is brought to life in this sumptuous edition illustrated with stunning full-color art.                                                                                                  
When Peter Pan pays a visit to the Darling children, everything goes topsy-turvy. Wendy, Michael, and John follow Peter to Never Never Land, where they have the most exciting adventures and battle the evil Pirate Captain Hook.

All children, except one, grow up.

Peter Pan's tale is timeless. It's the story of a boy who never grew up. It's about how some ordinary siblings learned to fly and went off with Pan to Neverland - a place of immeasurable wonder and danger. Filled with Lost Boys, Redskins, Pirates, and Fairies - Neverland is a place children go in their sleep. But one little girl, Wendy, wakes up to find Pan in her room and is taken off with her brothers, John and Michael, on an adventure.

I never really liked Peter Pan's story. I've never really been interested until I fell for the Once Upon a Time adaption of him. Pan is cruel and selfish in the show and while Peter Pan in his original story isn't cruel, he is pretty selfish. He's described as being cocky and that's the one trait that Captain Hook sees in him that he hates. It seems to be the reason why Hook wants to kill Peter Pan other than the whole flinging his hand into the ocean thing. It's also the trait that gets everyone so fascinated by him and wanting to follow him on his adventures. Peter Pan could be a bit too cocky for me. I'm not surprised he was chased by Hook and his gang of pirates. He likes to think other people's ideas are his. He has no manners that way. And he also always forgets things or people like they don't even matter which frustrated me. Nobody mattered but him or they mattered only because they provided him with some use. I feel like Barrie was eluding to how all children are. He even called Wendy and her brothers selfish because they forgot about their parents and just assumed they would happy to see them without any consequence. They created a lot of pain in the hearts of their parents and they didn't seem to care until reminded how selfish they were being.

I was not expecting Wendy to be the way she was. I knew she was taken to Neverland to tell stories and be the Lost Boys mother but, she took to it so well - like she was actually their mother - that it bothered me. It's like she saw herself with no other function but to keep after these kids. She didn't even fight like Tiger Lily, the "Redskins" chief's daughter. Tiger Lily was more of a strong heroine than Wendy and she was hardly in the story. There's nothing wrong with being a mother or having that sense to be motherly but Wendy was disappointing nonetheless for me.
It liked my arm so much, Smee, that it has followed me ever since, from sea to sea and from land to land, licking its lips for the rest of me.

Hook and his pirates were as devious and as menacing as I had hoped. Hook was especially dangerous and vicious with even his own crew. He cut down a crew mate with his hook when the pirate simply walked into him. His fear of the crocodile was just as I had hoped as well. It was like I was watching the movie version of him, scared out of his wits when he heard the tick tock from the clock in the beast's belly.

The Lost Boys were an interesting bunch... I don't think there was much time spent with them to be able to significantly identify one boy from another - except Tootles who was very humble and sweet. Tootles reminded me of Smee. Both were kinder than the people they hung around or just had this likable quality about them. 

Tinkerbell was hardly around either. I really didn't like her depiction because I love the new adaption of her so much. All she said was "Silly ass!" all the time... Such great character development... She was also drawn in this particular 100th edition of Peter Pan and Wendy too big. She just didn't look right to me. Wendy also looked strange in some pictures as well. But all the other illustrations? They were amazing. They just were beautiful and the amount of illustrations was great.

He had ecstasies innumerable that other children can never know; but he was looking through the window at the one joy from which he must be forever barred.

I loved the ending of the story. It was the perfect conclusion to Peter Pan because it wasn't a conclusion really. It cements upon the idea of having a boy who never grew up as a main character as well as a story full of magic and possibilities. I know I didn't really like most of the aspects of the story but no matter what I needed to read this book. How could I live my life without reading Peter Pan?


  1. Awww my dear Peter. This is one of my favorite fairy tales and even today my favorite visits are those to Neverland. In my dreams though, but it counts :) I love the illustrations here, so pretty!! Have you seen Finding Neverland? It's a great movie :)

  2. That artwork is gorgeous! I want to read this book too. I can't believe I've grown up without reading it. Time to rectify that! Thanks!

    1. I would have thought you would have read it. The 100th edition has great artwork which is precisely why I picked that edition to read.

  3. It's really been interesting to me to watch the way the writers of Once Upon a Time have adapted characters from old stories. Pan was especially an interesting twist. I've never read the original story, but I've seen the stage play, and the way the two versions are similar as well as different is illuminating, I think. I'll have to read this sometime, but I think I'll wait a bit so my perception isn't too colored by the TV show.

    1. Good idea. I think I was thinking about the Peter Pan t.v. version too much when I was reading the original story.

  4. I don't recall if I ever read this one, but I know I saw the movie and different movie adaptations of the story. I will have to check it out just to see what the characters are like and to see how different they are from who I think they are. :) Your review was so helpful and I am glad you had a chance to read this one!

    1. Thanks! I'd seen only movie adaptions of Peter Pan before so it was fun reading the original version of the famous story.

  5. I've never read this book, but I've always loved the story of Peter Pan. He's so young that he still has his baby teeth, right? It's no wonder, then, that he's selfish, since all children are born selfish and only grow out of it with maturity and a great, great deal of struggle. He's stuck in time and will never change. I suppose I really should read it someday, but I fear that I might be too old now to appreciate it. Some kid's books are like that, only to be truly appreciated and loved by a child. Great review, though!


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