Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens
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Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  2,394 ratings  ·  92 reviews
J. M. Barrie was a Scottish novelist and dramatist best known for creating the character Peter Pan. Barrie was made a Baronet in 1913 for his literary accomplishments. Peter Pan first appeared in a serial called The Little White Bird in 1901. In 1904 the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up was first produced. Barrie's inspiration for Peter Pan was the Davies fa...more
Paperback, 52 pages
Published February 2nd 2009 by Book Jungle (first published 1902)
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Antonomasia
A children's story which was in print during my childhood, but which I'm reading for the first time in an adulthood: having been one of those kids who pretty much finished the children's section in the library, this is a rare bird indeed.

I mostly, reflexively, find myself reading in the same way as I did when I was a child: with open minded acceptance of the peculiarities of this little world I'm now immersed in, and a hint of detachment. I know fairies aren't real, but this is how they do thing...more
Anna
This is one of those happy-sad books – it is achingly sad when you really think about its essence. It is heart-breaking and yet hauntingly beautiful, written with wondrous whimsical charm and childlike imagination. Childlike, and yet also very adult, it has a wisdom and definite darkness to it as well.

I love the idea of babies starting off life as birds, little birds hatching on the island in Kensington Gardens (hence we could fly, if we really believed it). I love the mentions of David, hands p...more
LeGrand
OLD TIME ‘JUVENILE FICTION’ CATEGORY

This is the origin story of Peter Pan. Peter Pan begins the story as an infant who can fly, because apparently all infants used to be part bird. He flies to Kensington gardens as an infant, but he gets stuck there when he can’t fly anymore. The rest of the story largely occurs in Kensington gardens where Pan has adventures with fairies and he later meets a new friend, Maimie. The story itself is very imaginative and magical. The text is accompanied by beautifu...more
Randy
Not quite what I was expecting. The story was decent enough but I feel like it was marred by the authors turn of the century british style. The prose definitely doesn't flow for the modern audience and that is unfortunate.

Taking into account that this is only part of a larger book, some of the narrative structure is lost. There are a few references to other parts of the original book and it's here that the reader will feel lost.

The stories themselvels are a mixed bag. Some are quite good while o...more
Niina
This is no-doubt the lesser-known half of the adventures of Peter Pan, and I must confess I wasn't even aware it existed before reading Peter and Wendy, or Peter Pan, whichever you prefer. The unfamiliar can often be scary, but at least literary-wise it's always better to try and approach anyway, and so it is with Peter Pan In Kensington Gardens, also. At first I was a bit weirded out by Peter being so small, aged only weeks, a complete totter, then I decided to roll with it and our trusted auth...more
Andy Troy
Although it was originally only a few chapters in Barrie's novel "The Little White Bird," the collected origin of the famous character Peter Pan is at once whimsical and melancholy in "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens." Barrie's focus is clearly on entertaining child readers, and so little jokes are sprinkled through the narrative like fine herbs, and digressions into fairy life and creatures in the park are frequent. The story's focus, though, is clearly on the title character, who abandons his...more
Cheryl in CC NV
This edition (note ISBN) is a a beautiful hardcover. Fifty (!) full page illustrations by the master - some of which you may recognize from greeting cards, jigsaw puzzles, etc. Odd little story, or, rather, series of stories - but then Barrie was an odd little man. Feminists have a lot to analyze. Recommended for those who love these old types of stories about little children encountering magic, and who can read the meat behind the whimsy.
Samantha Gosselin
I cried at the end. So did my mother. Every fiber of my being that might become a mother someday feels for Peter because sure he gets to fly and has eternal youth, but there's a dark side. We must all leave our childhood behind because we have no second chances in life. So sad. :( However, I love the author's way of describing things through a child's eyes. I love that I was once a bird. I love that I once spoke faerie. :)
Zara Arshad
It brings back the dreamer in me!

The most interesting part of the book was how it explained the behavior of the infants in relation to the fairies. And all the lovely little stories of children who stayed past the Lock-Out Time in the Gardens late at night...

MAP: my link text
Mega Frost
This review may contain some spoilers.




I still can't believe he was really 7 days old...but I guess it's not supposed to be logical considering it's Peter Pan. But in the original book, he is like 12 isn't he? I don't know. I could imagine it better if he was at least 4 or 5 but that's the logical side of me. Also, whay was yhe purpose of the little girl? It felt like a brwak in the story and starting a whole new story with a different main chatacter. And the ending was tragically sad when you t...more
Kristina
As a sort of prequel to Barrie's stage play Peter Pan to his later novel Peter Pan and Wendy, I found this book to be a bit all over the place. It was evident that certain aspects and story parts were then used in his later works, but putting them together in this novel just didn't appear to work very well. I don't know if it was just me and my perception of things, but the story parts didn't seem to flow very well. Perhaps it was just the language that wasn't flowing?

As an infant, Peter Pan man...more
Asaviel
Meine Meinung:
Peter Pan ist eine der Kultfiguren, mit denen jedes Kind heranwächst oder zumindest heranwachsen sollte. Die Geschichte von dem Jungen, der nicht erwachsen wird, verzaubert und regt zum Nachdenken an. In diesem wunderschön illustrierten Buch wird nun die Geschichte erzählt, in der Peter Pan das erste Mal auftaucht.
Es ist eine märchenhafte Erzählung von großen und kleinen Menschen, zauberhaften Elfen, sprechenden Tieren und allerhand Abenteuer. Dabei sind die einzelnen Geschichten v...more
Muriomu
Il racconto è suddiviso in sei capitoli, ognuno dei quali ci narra una parte precisa della storia.
Elementi conduttori di ogni storia sono i giardini e la figura di Peter.
Nel primo capitolo, vengono descritti ampiamente i giardini e le loro bellezze.
Nel secondo capitolo, si parla di Peter che abbandona la culla, sorvola i giardini e giunge all'isola degli uccelli, dove avviene l'incontro con il tordo Salomone.
Nel Terzo capitolo, Peter trova un modo per navigare la serpentina, in modo da poter and...more
Kenzie
Such an imaginative book, but also pretty dark--mothers replace their babies, fairies will slit your throat, and little children left in the park after dark might not come out alive. Not to mention that Peter Pan is a lonely Betwixt-and-Between with no child friends.

The book is filled with delightful scenes and observations--such as the fact that fairy cakes are too small to have crumbs. The details are so light that I felt even more shocked by the dark themes underneath...
Macie
My rating this book was hard. I want to give it 5 stars because it's a classic story, and old original fairy tales hold a very special place in my heart, but I couldn't bring myself to. I love Barrie's story telling, he makes it very easy to read. But the story was odd and a bit difficult to really love. It is everything I expected it to be. It's very sad in places, and very fun in others. Absolutely worth reading for the sake of reading an original tale.
Lex Javier
The novel is so short that there isn't much to say about it without spoilers; but it isn't so short to say nothing. It says everything. Peter Pan's origin story is less familiar than his story of meeting Wendy, but I find Kensington Gardens to have greater morals about youth and growing up.

Read this if you're in your early twenties, and you will be moved.

(view spoiler)
Aurora
l'ho finito in un lampo, o quasi, insomma ce l'ho messa tutta... e mi è piaciuto da morire... l'ho riempito di sottolineature e di commenti...

mi autocito, inoltre, per dire questo:
una cosa che mi ha molto stupito è la proporzione concettuale e esegetica (non so bene se i termini sia attinenti, ma li ho appena letti in un articolo e mi piacciono) sulla nascita delle fate (che poi comunque risorgono sempre, basta che abbiano una claque a disposizione) e la morte di un adulto - risata di un bambino

...more
Auntie Pam
Non è la prima volta che leggo un libro per ragazzi dopo aver visto il film di animazione della Disney e sono pronta ai cambiamenti, ma questa volta devo ammettere che non mi è piaciuto molto, forse perchè Peter Pan non è mai stato uno dei miei personaggi preferiti, fatto sta che a questo libro do solo 2.5 stelle.
Bello il racconto delle fate e il tema dell'abbandono della madre, ma il resto non ha la magia che mi aspettavo.
Alexandra Freire
Un libro corto pero lleno de ideas y sugerencias que nos indican, que sin lugar a dudas este libro es la base de la obra teatral y libro homónimo, de Peter Pan y Wendy. Y aunque es un poco lenta la lectura del mismo, ya que conocemos la historia es entretenido entrar en el mundo de JM Barrie. Y sin duda algún, el apéndice que incluye, nos permite conocer los verdaderos motivos que suscitaron la creación de su obra cumbre.
Ash
The story of Peter Pan has always been a favorite of mine. Childhood is one of the few truly universal experiences and most of us, at one point or another, have wished to either go back to it or never to leave.

Having read Peter Pan many years ago, I was thrilled when I came across this book about how Peter became the ageless boy. For me it's about the style of writing and the faith in childhood which the author takes for granted in his readers. Barrie tells us the story, from the beginning, of h...more
Sara
This story takes place before the Peter Pan story we all know and love (also known as Peter Pan and Wendy). It is the story of how Peter Pan came to be, and teaches us all sorts of new things we didn't know before. For instance, did you know that all human babies were at first birds? Or that fairies often disguise themselves as flowers, but if you stare at them long enough, you're sure to see one wink back at you?

When Peter is just a week old, he flies away from his nursery, over the rooftops in...more
Mandi
I actually wasn't sure if I would like this story or not. But, I was pleasantly surprised. I did enjoy it much more than I thought I would. This is the story of how Peter Pan came to be.

Peter left his mother, when he was a baby, to be a bird. That didn't work to well for him. So, the fairies decided to take him. They taught him to play like other children. Although they didn't teach him right, he still enjoyed himself. One day, they told Peter that they would give him one big wish. But, he took...more
Phil
I've read this as a prelude to reading the novel Peter Pan (can you "novelise" your own play?) and I was really surprised that such an important creation story of Peter Pan wasn't much better known. Written a few years before Peter Pan this book is a selection of chapters taken from yet another book (written for adults) to produce another shorter book (printed for children). In this very short work we read about how Peter left his mother when just a few days old because he wanted to play with th...more
Rana
A delightful story for children, a sad story for adults. But altogether something wonderful. This is the original Peter Pan, a short story that J.M. Barrie later wrote into a longer story about the Darling Family and Peter.
Becky Rajeski
Four-and-a-half stars, really. Four stars for Barrie's poetic prose, and five for Rackham's perfectly whimsical illustrations. A lovely pairing.
Mark
Jul 12, 2014 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Walt Disneys magical version of PP
Recommended to Mark by: Peter Pan
I bought this book on Ebay when my wife was pregnant of my oldest daughter, she really fancied the drawings of Arthur Rackham. This story of Peter Pan we both had never read or heard about before, it is an early story about Peter Pan and just like the later tale of Peter & Wendy is just magical and full of mystery (not in the sense of any crime).

It is a short tale and especially with the drawings in the book well worth your time and reading effort. I am pleased I bought this old and olmost a...more
Tyler
I didn't really understand it too much, but it was neat. I liked all the funny connections to real life happenings.
Jeni
A fabulous short story filled with the magic of the boy who never grew up. Grab your imagination and head over to Kensington Gardens for a quick read filled with wonder.
Irene
Peter Pan is a classic reading. I'm sure, if you have children you want them to read a book like this... or maybe you should read it laud to them.
Peter Pan adventures are told in a simple language and in a way that suits perfectly children and, at the same time, has the power to make an adult feel childish again.
James Barrie must have a great deal of imagination and I'm amazed at the use he made of it. It's like if he could still think, behave, reason and talk like a child and probably this is t...more
Sneh Pradhan
One of my most favorite kids books ever . A time-machine to my childhood !
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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
More about J.M. Barrie...
Peter Pan Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy The Little White Bird 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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“He was a poet; and they are never exactly grown-up.” 96 likes
“David tells me that fairies never say 'We feel happy': what they say is, 'We feel dancey'.” 43 likes
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