Item description for Peter Pan (Classic Literature With Classical Music. Junior Classics) by J. M. Barrie & Samuel West...
Wendy, Michael, and John are sleeping when the window of their nursery blows open and lets in a boy, Peter Pan, and his fairy, Tinker Bell. But Peter soon entices the three children from their beds and out through the window to Neverland. There, they encounter mermaids, fairies, the Lost Boys, and the Indian princess Tiger Lily and her tribe; and do battle with a villainous gang of pirates and their leader, the sinister Captain Hook, in a magical adventure which has enchanted generations of children and adults.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Peter Pan (Classic Literature With Classical Music. Junior Classics)?
Well-written, and creepy... Feb 25, 2008
Well, I fully expected this to be sexist. But I really wasn't expecting it to be as creepy as it was. There are all sorts of pseudo-sexual, vaguely Freudian undertones, and REALLY weird mother-wife-boychild relationships:
"Dear Peter," she said, "with such a large family, of course, I have now passed my best, but you don't want to change me, do you?" "No, Wendy." Certainly he did not want a change, but he looked at her uncomfortably, blinking, you know, like one not sure whether he was awake or asleep. "Peter, what is it?" "I was just thinking," he said, a little scared. "It is only make-believe, isn't it, that I am their father?" "Oh yes," Wendy said formally and properly. "You see," he continued apologetically, "it would make me seem so old to be their real father." "But they are ours, Peter, yours and mine." "But not really, Wendy?" he asked anxiously. "Not if you don't wish it," she replied; and she distinctly heard his sigh of relief. "Peter," she asked, trying to speak firmly, "what are your exact feelings about me?" "Those of a devoted son, Wendy." [The children here of course include the Lost Boys... and Wendy's own brothers.]
Not to mention that the sexism in this novel ascends to a whole new level, as Wendy exists merely to clean up and act as mother/wife to whatever susceptible boys cross her path. This is the entirety of her role in Neverland and the real world, she has no other thoughts whatsoever. Eg: "'Oh, all right,' Peter said, as if he had asked her from politeness merely; but Mrs. Darling saw his mouth twitch, and she made this handsome offer: to let Wendy go to him for a week every year to do his spring cleaning." [Oh joy, Wendy gets to clean for Peter... but only once a year...] "Wendy would have preferred a more permanent arrangement; and it seemed to her that spring would be long in coming; but this promise sent Peter away quite gay again."
I mean, it's an interesting book... but I wouldn't suggest any actual children read it. The value system is even more questionable (in a modern context) than that of the average Edwardian novel. Not to mention the overall atmosphere is just plain eerie. No wonder Michael Jackson took such a liking to it. It's probably no coincidence that the world's creepiest pedophile popstar became obsessed with the 20th Century's creepiest children's classic...
I Believe.... Mar 16, 2007
This review refers to the Great Illustrated Classics of "Peter Pan" by J.M. Barrie, adapted for young readers by Marian Leighton...
Great Illustrated Classics is a great way to go when introducing young readers to the great literature out there. The stories are timeless, the print is large and there is an illustration on every page next to a printed page. It makes it a real treat, instead of a chore, and kids may be more inclined to pick up the books with this easier read.
Peter Pan is a classic kid's adventure(although reading it again recently, I found I still get caught up in the story and the marvelous characters myself), that has all the elements needed for a fun and exciting read. You know the story, Peter, the boy who never wants to grow up(I know how he feels), takes Wendy, John, and Michael to Neverland, home of the lost boys, where no one every grows up and adventures with scary Pirates, Indians, Mermaids, and a brooding fairy named Tinkerbell, fill the pages. I love the part where the readers are asked to clap their hands if they believe in fairies, to help Tink recover from the poison she drinks to save Peter.
It's a book that is a great to read together and out loud. There is some violence, so may not be suited for very young children, but a classic that should be read by all who want to be taken away to Neverland...even if just for a little while.
It's a wonderfully adapted edition for kids and the illustrations are marvelous.For another must have illustrated classic for kids, try Frankenstein( ASIN:0866119817), see my review of that edition dated 11/28/06.
Adventure, Fantasy and a few life lessons to be learned with the read.
If you believe..clap your hands..don't let "Tink" die!....Laurie
Peter pan Nov 15, 2006
Peter pan is a great book.It's about a boy that doesn't want to grow up.There is a little girl named Wendy and she has two littler brothers named John and Michle.The setting takes place in Neverland which is a beautiful world filled with fluffy clouds .Also there is a mean pirate named Hook and one of his hands is cut off and is a hook now.His hand is a hook because once when Peter pan and Hook were fighting Peter pan and it chopped off hooks and and he replaced it with a hook.Thats everything you need to know about Peter pan.
Why Classics are Classics Oct 9, 2006
As one reads Peter Pan, one doesn't have to do much thinking to figure out why its story has achieved such worldwide acclaim. I had ridiculously high expectations of Mr. Barrie's imagination before purchasing this title, and he has fulfilled them completely.
Many parts of the story are nothing but nonsense, which I enjoy above all else. Mr. Darling, the head of the Darling family, commands his children to take their medicine after he hides the medicine he's supposed to take. He brags about how noble he is for drinking a medicine that tastes so much worse that theirs. Unfortunately for him, during his bragging his medicine is found, and the whole family agrees to take their respective medicines on the count of three. Sure enough, when three is reached, everyone except Mr. Darling takes their medicine, and Mr. Darling once again tries to hide his.
This kind of scenario is what I'd call Mark Twain nonsense. You can imagine it being true, even though it's quite high up on the ridiculous scale. Then there's what I would classify as over-the-top nonsense - AKA bull - which there is plenty of in Barrie's original story of Peter Pan. Going back to Mr. Darling, if we take a look at how he's doing near the end of the book, we find him going to and from work in a dog kennel. Ah, yes...grown men in pet taxis. What could be more fun than the "he-didn't-even-try-to-make-this-belivable" silliness of such a scene? To be honest, I don't know if I'd even read books if they all left out fun stuff like this.
Other silly parts of the book involve Wendy growing up a day quicker than most girls; the narrator claiming he hates Mrs. Darling only to call her his favorite character a few sentences later; the lost boys asking Wendy to change the characters her story just two sentences into it; the narrator using the phrase "woke into life" because Peter likes the word "woke" more than "wakened;" and my favorite, Captain Hook using a stale cake as a missle and then falling over it in the dark.
I believe the novel version of Peter Pan was written after the author had already established Peter Pan as a successful play. That may explain a lot about the colorful narration, which takes many, many literary liberties. We see everything from blatant narrator interference with the characters in the story to the shameless attempt at informing the audience that the narrator only chooses to make the events in the story happen a certain way so certain characters in the book won't be disappointed. Perhaps without these wacky (and maybe even insane) traits in the narration, there'd be no reason to read the book, since it would be no different from the play. After reading the Peter Pan novel though, I'd have to say it almost seems criminal to watch an adaptation of Peter Pan without any wacky narration.
Contrary to most adaptations of Peter Pan, the individual lost boys (of where there are six I believe) are actually more developed as characters than John or Michael Darling. Heck, at the end of the book they actually end up moving out of the Neverland to live with the Darlings and grow up to busy themselves in interesting professions.
I may not like the actual land of Neverland as much as I like the land of Oz, but Barrie's narration is unbeatable in my opinion. He could probably make a Jeopardy contestant's Friday night schedule sound exciting.
I believe Barrie has written another Peter Pan book as well, a prequel of sorts entitled "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens." It should be interesting, particuarly if it addresses what is contained in the dark dreams that haunt Peter throughout this book. Freud would have a field day with such dreams and the whole mother issue.
The only thing I expected to see in this book that I didn't see was "happy thoughts." That must have been a creation of Disney.
Darker than you'd think... Sep 6, 2006
Even though I knew that Disney movie and the various other adaptions out there were more sugar-coated than the original, this turned out to be a rather darker and more sinister book than I expected. Funny and charming and all that, too...but a little creepy in the way seemingly innocuous dreams sometimes are, when everything goes a little sideways and suddenly you aren't so sure everything is fine any more. Peter himself seems far less benevolent a soul than he is usually made out to be. In even the less flattering renditions of the story, he is usually only portrayed as childish, proud and a little selfish, but a stand-up sort of fellow nonetheless. The way I'm reading the book, he's practically a hedonist. The only thing that saves him is the fact that he has brief moments of chivalry and a memory like a goldfish. He and Dorian Gray should get together. Or maybe, on second thought, they shouldn't. Since that could lead to disturbing slashfic.
Seriously, this book made me sadder than I could ever have anticipated. Peter really is mercilessly heartless in his laughing, self-centered innocence. It really hurt my heart to think of Wendy and all her female descendants all giving their hearts' first love to Peter, one after another; the older, wiser women unable to save the girls from breaking their hearts over him in their turn.
Fantastic book, though, and a real treat for those who like to pick a book apart from a psychologist's point of view.