Bill Peet: An Autobiography
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Bill Peet: An Autobiography

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  749 ratings  ·  105 reviews
Bill Peet tells his life story, including his years with Disney, with illustrations on every page.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published March 27th 1989 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1989)
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Fun autobiography written and illustrated by a children's book author/illustrator. While the story of Bill Peet's life is interesting - I had no idea he'd worked for Disney for 27 years! - the illustrations are the reason to read this book. Bill Peet's first love was obviously drawing. The text, while simple and sometimes amusing, just doesn't hold a candle to the fantastic and fantastical illustrations.

I appreciate Mr. Peet's humility. He is the man behind the "boy meets girl" sequence in Sleep...more
This was another fun, quick read. There is a little more text than most of his books, but the whole thing is illustrated, so if you like Bill Peet's work you'll like this.

Rather than an exhaustive auto-biography, this is more of a quick skim over his life, with a focus on the time he worked for Disney, starting as an in-betweener and working his way up to writing full screenplays and doing all the storyboarding for 101 Dalmatians and Sword in the Stone.

I do think it odd that he ended the book...more
How many biographies are illustrated by the author and renowned artist himself? I saw an exhibit of many of his illustrations at the Art Institute of Chicago and decided to read this book because I liked the exhibit and his stories so well.

This is a fun look at a boy from Indiana who loved animals and drawing, but didn't fathom a career in the art world. It chronicles how he went on to work for Walt Disney in California and write and illustrate several books. I particularly liked his candid acc...more
Penny Johnson
The man who spent his life telling stories through pictures had to have an autobiography filled with illustrations. Indeed Bill Peet admits "With no intention of becoming a writer, I had never learned to type." Mr. Peet gave us a detailed fascinating account of his life with far fewer words than most biographies.

I enjoyed the description of the Disney studio operations and Walt Disney himself. I am old enough to remember Walt's weekly visits with us via television, and I remember my feelings whe...more
Samuel Valentino
I had known of Bill Peet's children's books, but I hadn't realized that he had worked for Disney, and how many feature films he had worked on as well. A good, concise autobiography of a man who worked on some of the most familiar movies for kids (Pinocchio, Dumbo, Cinderella, etc.). Also, his style is very engaging - while he doesn't go into great detail, his sparse prose draws you in, and the understatement still shows his emotion.

As an illustrator, I especially appreciated the book. The jobs h...more
His remarks about the absence of creativity in a corporate environment like Disney are enlightening. Perhaps I too should throw up my hands and yell "No more ducks!"
I love Bill Peet. This autobiography describes his life till when he became an author and Walt Disney died. The art in the book is just as good as I expected it to be. I would have liked the inside to have periodic or almost all colored pictures. My only critique is that I would like more of it to be about his life and a little less at Disney. That said, he doesn't flower over Disney's personality and it is interesting to read. Side note: Peter Pan, The Sword in the Stone, and Lambert the Sheepi...more
Mar 14, 2012 Shaun rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who are children at heart!
Recommended to Shaun by: Caldecott Awards Committee
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
While not aimed at someone my age...

I nevertheless found Bill Peet: An Autobiography quite fascinating and engrossing.

Bill Peet (1915-2002) is a self-professed reluctant student, especially of English classes, but he is nonetheless quite the good writer. Peet's illustrations add a lot to the pace and feel of the book and are a joy in their own right. His stories of life in Indianapolis before World War II will be interesting to any native Hoosier (as am I).

However, the most interesting part d...more
This book won a 1990 Caldecott Honor, and it is a tie between this one and "The Talking Eggs" for my favorite book that year. This was the longest Caldecott book I have ever read, at 192 pages, but I was totally fascinated by the story. The author/illustrator, who I had never heard of before, grew up during 1920s and the Great Depression, and was a great artist before he hit the big time and began working for Walt Disney. Being a huge Disney fan, I was intrigued by his behind-the-scenes story of...more
Apr 20, 2010 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Megan by: librarian
In grade school I was given the assignment of reading a biography or autobiography for a book report. Armed with my library card, and a determination to find something about Dr. Seuss, I was gently steered by the local librarian to this wonderful book by artist Bill Peet. Over the years, I have read and re-read it many times, and now a copy of it sits in my home library...

Bill Peet is a famous children's author and illustrator, who worked on such books as "The Caboose Who Got Loose", "The Little...more
Bill Peet is probably my favorite children's book author and illustrator, and has been since I was a little girl. My children love his books today. If you have children, I highly recommend you add Bill Peet books to your collection. A couple favorites to start with are Smokey, Hungry Harold, Kermit the Hermit, Katy the Caboose, The Luckiest One of All, Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent, and Capyboppy. Peet is a fantastic illustrator and a humorous and fun storyteller.

Peet's autobiography helps yo...more
BIll Peet who is mostly known as the author of Wump World wrote this autobiography about none other than himself. In this biography recommend for kids (I was quite surprised) he explains details of his life that you would never expect to come from a children's author. He explains his life living with his grandmother and his awful relationship with his parents. His art, and days in school and how he came to be an author and how is writing first began. I would recommend this book to any teacher th...more
Rachel Nabors
This is a book for anyone having a crisis of purpose. Bill Peet tells his life story, how he started with one dream but was persuaded by circumstances beyond his control to follow the dreams of others. Only in later life do his experiences come full circle so he can realize his dream again in an unexpected way.

He struggles with poverty, family issues, THE Great Depression, lousy bosses, dead end jobs, always making the best of it, pushing onward and keeping one eye on his own needs for personal...more
A Caldecott Honor book, this book covers Bill Peet's life and career in an informal, easy-to-read format. Profusely illustrated, mostly with sketches, but Peet includes some of his paintings as well.

A Hoosier, Peet grew up in Indianapolis, with summer excursions to family farms. He dedicates about a third of the book to his childhood overall, painting a vivid picture of growing up during the 1920's and 1930's, discussing his obsession with drawing all through this period. After attending art sc...more
This was a GREAT book! I've loved Bill Peet's stories since I was a child. So I really enjoyed hearing the story of Bill Peet's life and how he came to be a children's book writer and illustrator. The best part of this book is that every page has an illustration! Over 200 of them!

I especially enjoyed the stories of when he worked for Walt Disney. I got a very interesting view of Disney from this book. Bill Peet based the Character of Merlin in The Sword in the Stone on his impressions of Walt Di...more
I loved this book, because it made me love Bill Peet even more! Bill Peet was an amazing artist, writer, and an incredibly creative man. His Autobiography was unique, fun to read (I couldn't put it down), and now I think everyone in the world should read it. I loved his illustrations throughout his life story. This would be a perfect book for children to read, when first learning about autobiographies. The only thing I wish this book had was more stories about his life. I wish he was still alive...more
Stephanie A.
This didn't hold my interest at age 9, despite being aimed at a juvenile audience, but going back as an adult I have nothing but a heart full of love. Bill Peet's entire collection was a foundation of my literary childhood, as much for his wildly creative, distinctive illustrations as the stories themselves, so of course this is illustrated, with drawings taking up at least as much space as the text from cover to cover. In this one, though, the text really carried it along. I had never realized...more
Children's Literature Project
Bill Peet autobiography follows the artist and author's life through his childhood in Indianapolis, through his struggles in high school, art college, his long career with Disney, and finally his own books being published. Bill Peet started drawing when he was six or seven but struggled with many of the other core subjects in school. He finally followed his passion and went to art school where he meant his wife. All though his career with Disney Annex, Peet still had a dream to write books. He f...more
Ethan    Long
Absolutely spectacular autobiography of Bill Peet. I've always loved his books, but to see how they came to be, and with the same illustrations, made them even better. I was especially intrigued by seeing the inside of Disney back at its beginning. A really good read.
Bill Peet worked for Walt Disney Studios nearly 30 years, having been hired the year Snow White came out (1937). His art was consistent and creative from the beginning, yet he didn't get screen credit until many years, and pictures, later. Around the time he finally got credit, he often was asked to create "story" and manage other jobs on the picture as well. Its a credit to his character and his love of the job that he stayed as long as he did, as I got the feeling that he often felt underappre...more
A highly interesting, and quick read about the life of Bill Peet - the well-known children's book author. I have to say that his background connected with Disney, in particular most of my favorite films toward the end of his career there was intriguing.

As good of a book for introducing you to the beginnings of Disney's animation studio and telling you about Walt Disney as it is for telling you about its author. Some aspects of his life were glossed over more than I might have liked, but I was b...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this Newbery Honor Award winner, but that's because Bill Peet is one of my favorite children's authors. I especially enjoyed all the pictures that accompanied the text because many of them are in his other books in one form or another. The text is accessible to middle school readers, but I'm not sure many middle school students would actually read it. The Bill Peet books I've read to my children and classes are younger, so I'm not sure a student in 6th or 7th grade would rea...more
Bill Peet has the best autobiography of anyone- What an adorable, endearing man! It was refreshing to note that even though he was working his "dream job" at Disney, he still struggled at being happy there. A must read for all ages!
An interesting and, of course, well-illustrated autobiography, including his time working for Walt Disney. There are crazy monsters and demons depicted, so take care with young readers.

First off, the illustrations were superb. I have been a fan of Bill Peet since childhood and to learn about him the way I learned about everyone of his fantastic character creations made the experience of this book that more enjoyable. I was in aww of his career at Disney. I had no idea of the involvement Peet had in a number of big Disney favorites. At one point in the story Bill mentions the shorts he did for Disney. And wouldn't you know it. I recognized the art work even though I had forgot...more
Esther Choi
Bill Peet always loved to draw. That's why in this autobiography, every page has illustrations. I really enjoyed this story of his life. It portrays the ups and the downs and you also find that he was the brain behind a lot of ideas in famous Disney movies. He talks about his successes, his hardships, his feelings. It's a pretty quick read and something I think students will really be able to enjoy. Great autobiography to read for students who are inspiring to become artists.

Interest Level: Gra...more
Award winning children's author Bill Peet wrote his autobiography as he wrote his books, aimed at children and heavily illustrated. He started out as a serious painter, was a long-time (26 years) illustrator for Walt Disney and concluded his career writing picture books for children. The story is well told, although not a lot of detail since it is aimed at children. His time with Disney is fascinating since he worked on most of the famous feature length films after Sleeping Beauty. He did work o...more
Long before reading Peet's telling of his own story, I read his children's books with my boys. This volume is illustrated with his well-known cartoon style that was developed working for Walt Disney. Peet account is very enjoyable as he identifies the building blocks of his style, his work experience at Disney Studios and with founder Walt), his early desire to create children's books and his eventual emergence as a children's-books author for which he is so well and fondly known. What I wanted...more
Did you know that Bill Peet worked for Walt Disney for 27 years before he became an established, full-time picture book writer? He worked on movies such as Peter Pan, Cinderella, Pinocchio, and Jungle Book...and he came up with the idea of the song Bare Necessities. If you like reading about the life of a creative cartoonist and author, and if you like reading stories about real and famous people who have adventures, ups and downs in their lives, then give this book a try. The book goes quickly...more
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Bill Peet...AutoBio 1 4 Nov 23, 2009 02:39PM  
  • Fly High, Fly Low (50th Anniversary ed.)
  • The Faithful Friend
  • The Dinosaurs Of Waterhouse Hawkins
  • Alphabatics
  • Noah's Ark
  • Thy Friend, Obadiah
  • The Treasure
  • A Child's Calendar
  • Peppe the Lamplighter
  • Mirandy and Brother Wind
  • In the Forest
  • Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888
  • The Story of Jumping Mouse
  • The Graphic Alphabet
  • The Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night
  • The Boy of the Three-Year Nap
  • The Moon Jumpers
  • Nothing At All
Bill Peet was an American children's book illustrator and a story writer for Disney Studios. He joined Disney in 1937 and worked on The Jungle Book, Song of the South, Cinderella, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, Goliath II, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Fantasia, The Three Caballeros, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and other stories.

More about Bill Peet...
Capyboppy The Wump World The Whingdingdilly The Caboose Who Got Loose How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head

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