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The Little White Bird

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  496 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Peter Pan appears for the first time in this 1902 work. After dark, magical inhabitants emerge behind the locked gates of London's famous gardens. Other characters in the intertwining storyline include Peter's four-year-old friend Maimie, the London bachelor Captain W., young David and his governess, and Barrie's own St. Bernard, Porthos.
ebook, Barnes & Noble Digital Library, 300 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Barnes & Noble (first published 1902)
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I decided to read The Little White Bird because I happen to currently live near Kensington Gardens and regularly walk around them. On one of these occasions, I came across the famous statue of Peter Pan that was erected on the place Peter initially lands near the Long Water Lake in the Little White Bird and I thought that if there ever was a time to read the adventures of Peter Pan as originally written by J.M. Barrie, it would be now!

Now, the few chapters of The Little White Bird that cover Pet
"The Little White Bird" was a charming, mystifying novel full of pretty ideas and bittersweet reflections. Its mainly about a lonely old bachelor. It coincidentally contains the first passges Barrie ever wrote about Peter Pan.

"Life and death, the child and the mother, are ever meeting as the one draws into harbour and the other sets sail. They exchange a bright "All's Well" and pass on."

"so he made a pipe of reeds, and he used to sit by the shore of the island in the evening, practising the so
[[This book is also the origin of the Peter Pan mythos, although that story is rather a diversion from the main story, just as The Three Musketeers was a diversion from Dumas' main story.]]

A fun little book, most enjoyable. It has ever and anon been my practice, when a book has been finished, to find myself wondering whether or not I could find the means within myself to write in such a style as to, if not basely cadge from, to at least imitate the tone and manner of the book. Such is this parag
Brian Schiebout
The Little White Bird by James Barrie is a fanciful story about childhood. The main character is an older man who in a way represents Barrie himself and his relationship with another family. The story begins with him talking to a young boy named David who happens to be the other main character in the story. The tale begins with the man explaining how he helped the boys parents to get together because of his fascination with David's mother Mary. While the story includes much that is unfamiliar to ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2007 V. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who count themselves not amongst the faint of heart.
Shelves: fiction
J. M. Barrie, of course, is the author of Peter and Wendy, the book upon which is based many incarnations of the "Peter Pan" tale. What is curious to learn, however, is that Peter Pan made his first appearance in The Little White Bird, as the hero of a tale spun for a small boy by the older gentleman--the novel's narrator--who is obsessed with him. The Little White Bird is quirky, disturbing, and full of curmudgeonly wit.

Especially with the novel's themes of obsession and pederasty, White Bird i
Jim Brule
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ebster Davis
'"In twenty years," I said, smiling
at her tears, "a man grows humble, Mary. I have stored within me a great
fund of affection, with nobody to give it to"'

This is a story about a seemingly persnikity guy with a big heart.

The first part of this story was captivating, but probably not for the reasons it was intended to be. I kept thinking. "if this happened in modern day, this guy would be arrested and everyone would think he's a pervert." Then they give his backstory and his motivations are a bit m
Lanette Errante
a very different story

no one writes like this. Barrie has an odd and fascinating imagination. he pits the writer of the story with a child. while seemingly in competition and resentment with the child and his mother, he holds an affection for them that borders on the characteristics of stalking - something that would barely pass in present day society. yet, there is endearment seldom seen with a full grown man and a young child who are not related. in this book, and the reason I read it, Peter p
Jesús Cardeña Morales
Me siento confuso con este libro. Al principio no sabía si eran hechos que el autor escribía autobiográficamente, pero leyendo su vida, no me concordaba nada. Pero es que llega un momento que lo que narra no tiene ni pies ni cabeza, y que la relación que mantiene con el niño protagonista se acerca peligrosamente a la pederastia (aunque siempre he visto la figura de Barrie rodeada de algo parecido a la pederastia, no sé por qué...) y de golpe y porrazo te meten capítulos copiados literalmente de ...more
Heidi Schulz
This may be my all time favorite book. I particularly love the descriptions of David's mother.
Jamey Popham
If you’re a fan of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, you’ll love his novel The Little White Bird. This novel tells of a man who befriends a little boy in London’s Kensington Garden. Just as Barrie’s Peter Pan was, The Little White Bird is whimsical, yet dark, comedic, yet aggressive, and all things in-between. A review in The Times said of the book “The peculiar quality of The Little White Bird…is its J.M. Barrie-ness…whimsical, sentimental, profound, ridiculous Barrie-ness… Mr. Barrie has given us the b ...more
Kristina Wojtaszek
As the official prequel to Peter Pan by the original author, it's a must read! The first story of Pan, beginning at age one week, is tucked within the overarching tale of an old bachelor who grudgingly saves a romance and befriends the resulting child. The child is the first to partake of the imaginary world of Pan, and is based on a boy who, along with his brothers, truly inspired Barrie in his vast imaginings. The tail is humorous, heart wrenching, candid and deliciously creative. The later st ...more
Jake Leech
For starters, this is a J. M. Barrie book, which means that, like any J. M. Barrie book, the writing style is polarizing. Some readers will find him utterly, utterly charming, and others will find him cloying and twee. I can't predict which reader you will be, but I happen to like the way Mr. Barrie writes. Additionally, I was interesting in this specific Barrie book because it is the first mention of Peter Pan. However, he loses two stars for two reasons--one star for each reason.

First of all,
Rating: PG

A friend recommended Peter Pan to me a while ago, but I haven't read it yet. I checked out the author's history on wikipedia (which, yes, I know I'm not supposed to trust completely) and found out Peter Pan was first introduced in this book. So I thought, "Ok, I'll read this book first, then the book recommended to me." And so I did. You're welcome for that tidbit that I'm sure you wanted to know…

Basically, this book was not what you'd expect it to be. The humor, the characters, the (n
I think this story more than any others is a reflection of Barrie himself and the relationship he had with the Davies. It is a simple story, and not very full of plot. But I found in the end I was overwhelmed by how beautiful it was. Everyday occurrences, things happening all the time in the Kensington Gardens became magical and mysterious worlds of unknown. The world became a wonderful place in this book. It is the perfect way for anyone to escape.

(*Spoilers*) Kind of...
This story was about a m
Joey Brockert

I picked up this book because I had read “Peter Pan,” the play, was perpetually licensed to aa hospital in London, but this, being the source of the play, was not.
It is a very strange story. It starts out with a fellow doting on his son but refusing to go to the boy's mother's birthday party. The fellow admits he has never spoken to the mother and has no intention to do so. She is not his type - too young, he finds mature women of fifty plus much more interesting. I will not explain more as it
James Barrie has created Peter Pan here, along with the other fairies who inhabit Kensington Gardens. He's created a narrator who's curmudgeonly and endearing...insufferable and loving. This lonely old bachelor watches a small family from afar, from the romantic meetings of the as-yet unmarried couple, to the births of their children. He takes an interest in the older son and tries to wrest his affections away from the mother. Along the way David, the son, Mary, the mother, and the unnamed narra ...more
This book is one that is lesser known to the general public and it is such a shame. There is something about this book that captivated my heart in a way I can't quite describe.
J.m Barrie writes of children like no other author. He truly captures the wonder and magic of childhood. Each story has its own unique sort of whimsy to it. He writes in a way that makes even the ordinary whimsical. This is a beautifully written timeless book. I would recommend to anyone and everyone.
This is an enjoyable read by J.M. Barrie. I did, however, find the writing style very dated. The most notable thing about this book is the fact that Mr. Barrie introduces us to Peter Pan several years before the play was produced. In fact, the chapters that centered on the Peter Pan story seemed out of place with the rest of the novel. If you're intereted in an early take on Peter Pan, I do suggest you give this a try. If not, I think you'll find this to be an interesting but dated read.
Oct 13, 2014 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Sarah Demster
Now I remember why I love J.M. Barrie. :)

Fine, I'll expound. I love the author's writing style; he always writes such charming, funny stories. Fairies, perambulators, umbrellas, babies, make-believe, added to wit from a singularly crabby and thoughtful old man make this an excellent read.

I'm afraid I can't pin exactly what makes this story so attractive, but there is always something playful happening and some witty thought is likely to spring from it. Will read more of Mr. Barrie soon!
Caristy Olson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book begins with one of the best put-downs of all time!

"Come this time, father," he urged lately, "for it is her birthday, and she is twenty-six," which is so great an age to David, that I think he fears she cannot last much longer. "Twenty-six, is she, David?" I replied. "Tell her I said she looks more."

How could you not love that?!
Meghan Julia Fogg
Roller coaster of emotions!! And this is the first piece I've read by J.M. Barrie (preparation for reading Peter Pan in both English and French for my Littérature comparée class). Wow, reading this was to be constantly jerked around by the narrator's whims and swings (and of everything I've read, the narrator is essentially Barrie. Fantastic read to kill time.
Un protagonista entrañable, bastante mordaz y gruñón, pero que en realidad tiene su corazoncito. Este libro es como un cuento de hadas desarrollado en la realidad, realmente surrealista en algunas ocasiones, y totalmente vívido en otras. Un libro personal, profundo y completamente tierno. Un homenaje a la infancia, la hermosura, el amor y la mujer. Pero también divertido y lleno de aventuras. Una mezcla extraña que hace que no sea ni para niños, pues no entenderían algunas cosas, ni para adultos ...more
Stephen Huntley
Some wonderful flights of fancy and really beautiful insights. Brilliant in parts. Unfortunately, it can also be uncomfortable reading at times, as to a modern reader it is hard to shake off the feeling that the main character is a paedophile.
Bobbi Weiss
Oh, this book is just one big lovely moment. *sigh* It's about beautiful relationships across generations, about the young and the old, about magic and belief, about sharing souls. It's wonderful.

It also contains the very first mention of Peter Pan, before Barrie cemented the character and gave him his own book. That alone makes it fascinating.
Gloria Russell
I really loved this book. I read it out of curiosity since it was included in the volume I had just read Peter Pan in and it is the origin of that character. I wasn't going to write a review, but the top review I saw bothered me since he obviously didn't finish/understand the book. The man telling the story is an old bachelor without children who befriends a little boy. Their relationship is special but sad because he is not really his son...soon the boy will grow up and forget him. Just read it ...more
creepy book with elements of stalker activity. This probably has more to do with the differences between his time period and mine, but not appealing at all to me.
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Sir James Matthew Barrie, 1st Baronet, OM (9 May 1860 – 19 June 1937) was a Scottish author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan.

The child of a family of small-town weavers, he was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he developed a career as a novelist and playwright. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him in writing about a baby boy who has
More about J.M. Barrie...
Peter Pan Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens Peter Pan and Other Plays: The Admirable Crichton; Peter Pan; When Wendy Grew Up; What Every Woman Knows; Mary Rose The Admirable Crichton

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“The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings.” 1389 likes
“What is afraid?' asked Peter longingly. He thought it must be some splendid thing. 'I do wish you would teach me how to be afraid, Maimie,' he said.” 13 likes
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