Story - The whole story of Peter Pan always feels like an ongoing dream to me. I like how the story for this book is pretty complete, the way it is told makes you feel like there were tons of stories before this one, and plenty to come. The story of the Darling children is very fun, and exciting and keeps a readers interest no matter the age. It is different in style then most modern day books, and has a definite tongue in cheek feel that I adore. The author is able to both make one feel like he remembers being a child very well, while at the same time able to point out some of the absurdities of both children and adults.
Character - I love the characters in this book, they all play a role and are all special in their own way. My favorites are of course Peter Pan, Captain Hook and Tinker Bell. I love the sheer wild abandon of Peter Pan. While he very much embodies the eternal child, selfish, willful, petulant when he doesn't get his way, he is more then that. He is a wild spirit that can't bear to be tied down, he is freedom itself for good or bad and I totally identify with his good points and his bad ones as well.
Captain Hook has always been one of my favorite villains. To start with the guy is a pirate...which is always a good thing in my book. He is also apologetically mean and violent towards pretty much everybody, but the author does give him several moments of reflection in the book. There are multiple places where we see Hook reflect on how and why he got to where he is. We see him be strong and anti-heroic and we see him hurt and scared, a very well rounded villain. Tinker Bell is just a sassy ball of energy and she is my role model teeheehee. I mean the girl has attitude like nobodies business, defends what's hers, flies AND shows bits of bravery and selflessness when really needed..yep my kind of girl. So yeah, good characters.
Editing - The style of the book is the omniscient narrator who talks directly to the reader. It works perfectly for this book as the narrator is snarky guy who sets the tone perfectly. The editing is well done and the book flows perfectly and simply as befitting a children's book.
Quotes - Peter Pan is one my favorite books to quote. I could fill pages and pages with the most perfect little gems. "Second star to the right and straight on till morning" "To die will be an awfully big adventure" "When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.” “Never is an awfully long time.” “All children, except one, grow up.” “Oh, the cleverness of me!” “Pan, who and what art thou?" he cried huskily. "I'm youth, I'm joy," Peter answered at a venture, "I'm a little bird that has broken out of the egg.” I could go on and on, but then I would pretty much just retype the whole book. I just love the phrasing of so much of this book, it really appeals to me.
The Play - This book actually started out as a play that the author expanded into book form. As a theatre junkie AND a huge fan of this story one could say that it is a match made in literary heaven. I have seen the play live many times and my Mamma bought me the Mary Martin version on VHS for me to watch over and over and over again. This is the definition of pure imagination to me and I love every fairy assisted drop of it.
Illustrations - I have several versions of this book all with different and amazing illustrations. Since this post was inspired by the MinaLima version that is what will be used to illustrate this particular post...there will probably be other posts with other illustrations. This book lends itself to so many styles of art and interpretations that I could probably collect a thousand different artistic versions, all with their own amazing takes on the various characters, places and situations. This particular version not only has some very cool illustrations, but there are also many interactive elements that really add to the atmosphere of the books.
Overall Impressions - This is with out a doubt one of my absolute favorite stories. It has everything I love about reading, fairies, mermaids, pirates, adventures, quests all of it. I love the huge scope of imagination, I love the unlimited potential for pretty much anything to happen, I love the mix of children and adults, I love the idea that you never have to grow all the way up. I just love it! I give this book 10 out of 10 never birds and will read it over and over again.
Happy Reading Everybody!