Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lost Boy

Yolen, Jane. (2010). Lost Boy: the Story of the Man Who Created Peter Pan. S. Adams. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group.

Literary Genre: Biography (Picture Book) 

James Matthew Barrie’s character Peter Pan is a favorite among children (young and old) and readers will enjoy learning how events in Barrie’s life led to the creation of the magical boy who never grew up. Every page displays a quote from one of Barrie’s works that emphasizes the influence that Barrie’s life had on his novels and plays. The beautiful illustrations invite the readers to see Barrie’s playfulness and highlight his connection to the Llewellyn Davies boys that inspired his greatest work.

This is perhaps one of the best picture book biographies I have read. Many times biographies provide facts in a dull manner; this book is very much the opposite. Jane Yolen writes Barrie’s life story as if it were a fairy tale, she even begins with ‘Once upon a time’. Although Barrie did experience many hardships, Yolen does a nice of job of showing how Barrie overcame those and kept pursuing what he loved, the theatre. The inclusion of quotes from Barrie’s works is one of my favorite aspects of the book; it is a nice of way for readers to indirectly connect his life events to his works. Yolen also includes a list of Barrie’s works as well as a list of famous actresses (yes, actresses) that played Peter Pan.

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