Lost Boy

The Story of the Man Who Created Peter Pan

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday
hosted today by Chapter Book of the Day

Dutton Children's Books (Penguin)
(pub. 8.5.2010)  40 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top 

A uthor: Jane Yolen
     and Illustrator: Steve Adams
C haracter: J. M. Barrie
O verview from jacket flap: 
      "People around the world know the story of Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up, but not many know the story of his creator; J.M. Barrie.  Barrie's young childhood was marked by sorrow, but also held great adventure. His adult life and relationship with the Davies family brought about a second childhood that helped him to create his lasting triumph. Masterfully illustrated by Steve Adams and using Barrie's own words, Jane Yolen tells the story of the author and the boys who changed his life."
T antalizing taste: 
       "In his own estimation he was pencil-thin, inarticulate in company, and with 'manners, full of nails like his boots.'  Nobody but he thought he would make his way in the world.
        'Peter, Peter, you are wasting the faerie dust.' -- from the playlet, Wendy, An Afterthought."

and something more:  Of course, I love reading picture book biographies about children's writers, and Lost Boys is compelling with Jane Yolen's wonderful writing and her selection of Barrie's quotes that connect to the story.  What a wonderful quote -- "Peter, Peter, you are wasting the faerie dust."  So I had to find out more about "Wendy, An Afterthought," the playlet (a term I've never heard before but is just right) As Jane Yolen wrote, "In 1908, a final scene was added to the play, in which a grown-up Wendy lets her child Jane fly off to Neverland with the still-young Peter to help him with his spring cleaning. It was only used for one performance." 
     I savored these words about picture book writing from Jane Yolen's website:  "There is a subtle dance between art and text which cannot be entirely planned for when the writer begins. A picture book writer needs to remain as supple as a dancer in order to accommodate a partner (the illustrator). It is the book–not just text or art–that has to be whole."  And, Jane Yolen's books epitomize the whole.


Rasco from RIF said...

I have loved Peter Pan since childhood and have seen movies and plays but did not know about this book about Barrie. Thank you, can't wait to read it!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

You're most welcome! I think you'll really enjoy the book.