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Bill Peet: An Autobiography
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Bill Peet: An Autobiography

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  1,076 Ratings  ·  152 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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To check out my review:

When I read about the description of this book I thought it was merely impossible that the library would possess this book because it has less than an 1,000 ratings on Goodreads but one day as I was at my usual library, I was looking at the autobiography/biography section and saw this book sticking out a bit and my brain automatically registered that it was merely impossible what I have in front of me and sure enough as I was checki
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
Sep 11, 2016 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: older children and parents reading with them
This is a wonderful autobiography of one of our favorite illustrators. His career is amazing, and while our girls aren't the biggest fans of the Disney cartoons, they certainly appreciate his artwork. And we've really enjoyed reading his picture books, too.

We started reading this book together, but didn't get very far, so we just finished it on our own. It's an interesting read and offers some fascinating insights into the early days of Walt Disney's foray into feature-length cartoon movies and
Sep 01, 2008 Kerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Steven Bennett
Jan 18, 2015 Steven Bennett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fun book I could not put down. The life of the artist who made so many cartoons I loved when I was a kid was wonderful to learn. The book is filled with so many of his drawings that it takes a while to read, which is fine by me. Like his cartoons, nothing of his is not good.
Jun 12, 2011 Ethan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2010 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Engaging autobiography of Peet's life and career. Enjoyed the illustrations that accompany the text. I am pretty sure I have only read 2 of Peet's books and so I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did, but I did rather enjoy it...and despite being nearly 200 pages, it was a quick read.
Aug 03, 2016 Beverly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-biography
I read this book many years ago and enjoyed it very much. It was fascinating to read about someone who worked closely with Walt Disney and did many of the drawings for the animated movies. While I really enjoyed the pencil drawings for this book, I was disappointed that they were not in full color, like the many picture books that he wrote and illustrated. Most of the drawings are cartoon in style, but there are a couple of illustrations that look more serious--copies of paintings he did while i ...more
Penny Johnson
Feb 12, 2014 Penny Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature-class
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
Samuel Valentino
Apr 28, 2014 Samuel Valentino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
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
Aug 06, 2016 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed that it;s over. There are hints of his interest in the protection of wildlife and the environment, but no development of that... much too much, imo, of the book is spent on his years working with Walt Disney. Well, it was 27 years, but still.

Now I definitely want to read more of his picture-books. I do think that it's worth a Caldecott Honor, even though it's not a standard picture-book. It does have lots and lots of pictures, and though it's long it's easy to read, and it certainly
Aug 10, 2016 Tori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book to flip through at the library, not expecting to read the whole thing and the next thing I knew I was at the end! Bill Peet is a great storyteller, no wonder he did well at Disney and writing kids books. I'm sure I've read some of his books before, but I didn't recognize his name. What really caught my attention was reading on the inside flap that he had worked on many classic Disney films. I love classic Disney a lot, and found his stories about Walt especially entertainin ...more
Jun 08, 2009 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!"
Jul 30, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful, quick read with a smooth flow and a wealth of fun illustrations. The ending was kind of abrupt and I wish it had gone on longer because it was so fun to read! It was interesting for the art, the story of his life and the behind-the-scenes take on the early Disney years. The other thing I take away from this book (though it was not an intention on his part) is that it's so important for kids to have creative outlets and spend time outdoors, exploring the world. I say this as I sit i ...more
Pretty amazing illustrated autobiography. And most likely the Caldecott Honor Award winner with the most words. I'm really not all that familiar with Bill Peet. I know him only because The Caboose Who Got Loose was my son's first favorite book. And yet this book was absolutely filled with recognizable and awesome pencil sketches. From his childhood, to his time as a young artist, to Disney to his books - the whole book was just eye catching. And the text was strong as well - well written and bre ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
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
Emily Von pfahl
The large type, huge illustrations, and simple vocabulary indicate that the book is designed for younger readers, but some of the content is clearly for older readers. (Examples include his father punching him and extorting money, an illustration of a rat in a trap, the story board for the bombing of New York). Showing both sides of Disney might also be difficult for some children to accept, even if it is an accurate depiction. As a librarian I was left wondering who the intended audience was. ( ...more
Drew Graham
Oct 29, 2015 Drew Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me
Bill Peet is a beloved writer and illustrator of dozens of children's books. But before he was a celebrated artist and wordsmith he was a skinny kid from the midwest who barely made it through school. This autobiography is a charming and honest look at one young man who made it happen, coming from Nowheresville all the way to the Walt Disney Studios in California, and beyond.

Once when I was a teenager I discovered a book about Bill Peet that I remember thinking was interesting and funny, and I'm
Becky B
Bill Peet writes and illustrates his life story from boyhood frolics in the woods around suburban Indianapolis to struggles in school and his roundabout route to becoming an artist for Disney and from there eventually illustrating his own books.

Bill Peet is probably most famous now for all of his children's books, but that was not his first goal as an artist. He originally wanted to be a famous painter. He got his job at Disney before Snow White was released, so many thought he was taking a gamb
Luanne Castle
Feb 25, 2015 Luanne Castle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, childrens
The book is 190 pages–longer than a traditional picture book; however, it won an award as a Caldecott Honor Book in 1990 because the book is fully illustrated–there is at least one illustration on each page, along with engaging text.

Bill Peet worked for Walt Disney on many movies, shorts, TV shows, books–even Peter Pan peanut butter. He wrote the original (1961) 101 Dalmatians, working from Dodie Smith’s book. Disney asked Peet to “plan the whole thing: write a detailed screenplay, do all the st
Mar 27, 2015 Shaun rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those who are children at heart!
Recommended to Shaun by: Caldecott Awards Committee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 10, 2012 Dale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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 it was amazing  ·  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
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
Feb 24, 2013 Rachel Nabors rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Jun 14, 2008 Tracey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disney
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
Reily Riemersma
This is the story about Bill Peet and his life. He had always wanted to work for Disney or be able to contribute to them some how. Then one day he finally got his opportunity and he loved it. He later was let go and had to move on.

There are so many illustrations throughout this book. There is literally a picture on every page. The pictures are nice to look at during the book because they help explain bill Peet himself a little more.
Callie Stillion
This book was really good. I learned a lot about Bill Peet I probably never would have known! It was an interesting book, because I learned more than I ever thought I could.
I wasn`t really impressed with the end of the book. It didn`t tell what I thought it would. The end of the book was about the success of one of his books.
Overall, this was a really good book, and I recommend it for a lot of people!
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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.

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