Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Peter Pan and Wendy

It's been a while since I've blogged here, but Evalina and I have been busily reading.  We just finished another one of the Ramona books (we only have one left), and we also read a true classic - Peter Pan.  The version we read was called Peter Pan and Wendy, and we read it in e-book form.

Evalina got a Nook for Christmas.

The Story:  Who doesn't know the story of Peter Pan?  Most of us at least know the Disney-fied version.  Peter Pan, a boy who doesn't want to grow up, comes to the window of the Darling house, and flies away with the Darling children - Wendy, John, and Michael.  They fly to Neverland, a place all children see in their dreams.  There, they have many adventures with The Lost Boys (Peter's crew of boys), fighting the nefarious Captain Hook.

The Good:  The story is exciting, and the characters are well developed.  You get a different sense of them from this than from the Disney version.  They are more complex.  Tinkerbell is not a sweet little thing.  She's kind of ornery.  Peter is flawed and you can feel the conflict in him.  Hook is scary and fun to read.  Mr. and Mrs. Darling (and Nana) are flawed, but loving.  Evalina really loved listening to this book.

The Bad:  The language is sometimes a bit old fashioned, and if she had been reading it on her own, it might have been more difficult to wade through.  Since I was reading it aloud, we were able to work through things in context for the most part.  Tinkerbell routinely calls Peter a "silly ass."  Evalina was able to just take those outbursts in stride, and she knows not to repeat language like that. But it might be an issue with other readers.  Some of the parts with the pirates are a little scary, and the children do kill the pirates.  This might also be an issue with some readers.  Some parts are a little intense, as the children are in The Neverland for so long that they begin to forget their parents.  If your child is totally in love with the Disney version of Peter Pan, this book might come as a shock on some levels.

The Verdict:  Overall, a really good read.  A total classic.  It's not the Peter Pan the Disney audience is used to.  I think it's a great read-together book, because the language is sometimes more challenging for the young modern reader.  Evalina really got into the imagery and loves talking about how she sees The Neverland when she closes her eyes at night.  It's great to share such a classic.  Amazon recommends it for ages 9-12, but I think the younger part of that range might need some help getting through it.  I would recommend it, though.