books · children's books · classics · review

Children’s Book Sunday: Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

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As you probably know, I love classics and I love children’s books, so Peter Pan should be right up my alley, right? I was really excited to read this one, but did it live up to my expectations?

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We all know the Disney version of Peter Pan, or maybe you know Finding Neverland [I am emotionally SCARRED by that movie] so you have a general idea of Peter Pan. Or so I thought. Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is the origins story of Peter Pan, and it’s really interesting to read. Basically, Peter is about 7 weeks old and falls out of the pram and lives with faeries and birds for the rest of his life, but he never gets older than 7 weeks. Then after many years, he wants to go back to his mother, but does his mother want him back?
I didn’t really like that story very much, I can understand why it’s interesting to children, especially the parts with the faeries, but I didn’t really like the language used.

Then we get to Peter and Wendy, the story about how Peter Pan steals away the Darling children to make Wendy the mum of the Lost Boy’s. And I had issues with this story. I HATE Peter. I absolutely HATE him. He’s a disgusting, spoiled brat, and Barrie makes it appears as if the Darling children’s are the brats??? Why??? Peter stole them and Neverland made them forget about their life so there’s nothing wrong with them. Also, SPOILER, he keeps stealing Wendy’s descendants for years and years and years? Wendy is just the typical Edwardian girl, she is a mother figure and doesn’t do anything but being a mother. Now, I know that’s the reason she’s there, but the book doesn’t have any great female characters in it, except maybe Tiger Lilly, but she doesn’t really talk in the book. I am aware in what time this is written, and I am aware of how beliefs were at the time, but I just didn’t like it, and I would’ve thought I would. The story itself isn’t bad, it’s just the characters who are bad. Barrie also didn’t care about children’s language and just wrote the book with adult language.

I feel really torn about this book. Did I like it or didn’t I like it? I know I wouldn’t want to read it again, unless I needed to. It took me more than 3 months to finish it, because I just didn’t like the characters. I guess that means I didn’t like it, and now I feel bad.

You can buy this here.

Score:
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