I was absolutely thrilled to see a book, a children’s picture book, of Peter Pan, using the lyrics from the musical adaptations of the play.
Betty Comden & Adolph Green’s “Neverland” and Carolyn Leigh and Mark Charlap’s “I’m Flying” form the essential story for Amy June Bates’ delightful artwork.
Anyone looking for the complete Peter Pan story, in abbreviated, children’s book format will be disappointed. This book picks one very small portion of the story to highlight and to hopefully capture the attention of children who might one day become theatre-goers. And what better way to do it than to tell the story of a young boy from a place called ‘Neverland’; and the boy who can fly!?
I can easily see myself reading this to some youngsters, relishing the “I can fly!” moments, and I can picture children getting caught up in the excitement. But best of all, I see this building interest in J. M. Barrie’s play and the musical adaptations.
Bates’ artwork is soft watercolors that will catch a child’s interest and give them something to think about and build upon as they imagine the story in motion. The fact that she has given us a Peter that isn’t in the typical Disney or Broadway-looking costume, yet still clearly a Lost Boy that is full of curiosity (and has a tiny fairy for a friend).
My only grudge … other than a note in the introduction by Phyllis Newman, Peter Pan’s creator, James M. Barrie, is not credited, even though an uncredited epilogue points out that “So many of these lyrics contain actual lines from the original play. …”
This is a book that I will recommend and purchase for friends with small children.
Looking for a good book? Flying to Neverland with Peter Pan is a beautiful children’s picture book that is built from the lyrics of the popular Peter Pan musical.
I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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Flying to Neverland with Peter Pan
authors: Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Carolyn Leigh
artist: Amy Bates
publisher: Blue Apple Books
hardcover, 36 pages