Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Peter and the Starcatchers" by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

This Peter Pan story would have been better if I'd read it to myself straight through. As it was, I read it to the kids bit by bit at bedtime, and it took us months to finish. This definitely interrupted the flow. It didn't help that in the second half there was too much back-and-forth with the trunk. Peter has the trunk. No, Slank has the trunk. Now Peter has it again. Now Black Stache. No, it's Slank. It was like watching a ping-pong match, and that's never fun for very long, even if the players are the really good Chinese guys who jump up on the table every now and then. Oh, I don't know, maybe ping-pong is too entertaining to be a fair comparison. Maybe it was more like listening to a baseball game on the radio. The book could have been much shorter than its too-long 451 pages if they had cut some of that out.

I did enjoy the prequel aspect of the book. It was fun to hear the back story about things like how Black Stache (who evidently turns out to be Captain Hook) lost his hand. I mean, I already knew Peter fed it to the crocodile (whose name, by the way, is Mister Grin, in case you didn't know), but here I got to read all the gory details. Speaking of gory, even my 9-year-old son commented that the book was a little bloody. My 6-year-old daughter really wasn't very interested in the story and would usually play by herself in her room when it came time for me to read it, which is really odd because she's the one who loves books and usually can't get enough of them. My 3-year-old daughter almost always joined us for Peter storytime, but I think that was mostly just so she could snuggle in my lap as I read.

This book tells us how Tinkerbell came to be (although it doesn't mesh with the story in Disney's Tinkerbell movie, which is surprising as this book is labeled as a "Disney Edition"). It also explains how Peter and his Lost Boys ended up on the island, although I really thought you had to fly--and not in an airplane!--to get there (past the first star to the right and straight on 'til morning), but Peter got there by boat. That aspect made "Neverland" seem a bit too common, even with the mermaids (which also were explained).

I feel like all I have done is complain about this book, which is misleading because it's really not all that bad a read. I did like Greg Call's illustrations, although it kind of annoyed me that Tinkerbell's wings had feathers. They're supposed to look like dragonfly wings. (There I go complaining again). And, ugh, there are already 3 other books in this series, and my son is expecting me to read them all to him. It's going to be a year before we're finished with all of them. I guess I just need to sit back and enjoy the ride. My 3-year-old is not going to want to sit in my lap forever.

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