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I purchased this book from The Book People because it was on a fantastic deal, and being from the author J.M. Barrie''s birthplace Kirriemuir I wanted to buy my son a child''s version of a story I''ve grown up with. I wasn''t expecting anything like the quality and entertainment value it provides! First off, the story has been adapted from the slightly overwhelming original to a more child appropriate length, this has been done tastefully and as true to the book as possible. Obviously any adaptation loses some of the integrity and charm of the original, but Libby Hamilton has done as good a job as could be expected. The artwork is pleasant and has an old fashioned, nostalgic feel to it which I love in children''s books. However, neither the story or the artwork is the highlight of this book, it is AMAZING! I previously bought another book from this pop-up musical range (Cinderella) and while it was everything I hoped it seems the story of Peter Pan is far better suited to this format. The pop-ups are extremely impressive, from a huge Big Ben on the first page, surrounded by all the flying children, to the absolutely breathtaking pop-up Jolly Roger at the end! I''ve never seen a pop-up book as good as this! The sound effects don''t let it down either, each pop-up is accompanied by an appropriate soundtrack, such Big Ben striking the hour overlaid onto background music, the pirates laughing against a background of ambient animal and water noises, and the crocodile''s clock ticking down to the sound of Captain Hook''s exclamation and dramatic splashing fall. The sounds are unexpectedly high quality, with multiple layers of sound at the same time to build up a realistic atmosphere. It ends with some lovely uplifting music to accompany the majestic Jolly Roger sailing off. If I had a criticism of this book, it would only be that there isn''t a sound effect and pop up on every page, as the final page depicting the children reunited with their parents feels a little anti-climactic after the grandeur of the previous page. However, I consider 5 pages with effects and 3 without to be a fair balance. My 5 year old son absolutely LOVES this book! He can''t get enough of me reading it to him and is also quite happy to sit turning the pages, listening and watching by himself. It is a chunky book over an inch thick and one of the biggest books in our collection, which adds to the durable, high quality feel. After having it 7 months and it getting used nearly daily, the batteries are still going strong, but when they fail there''s a handy easy access panel on the back to replace them (4 x G10 1.5V button batteries). What more can you ask for!
If you're a Peter Pan fan then you will absolutely love this book. Its beautifully done and perfect for children to start enjoying JM Barrie's classic story. It is retold by Libby Hamilton so I think in a way that makes it a bit easier to adapt for a children's pop up book and also a little easier to read that the original.
On the back of the book we are told, "Fly into an amazing adventure - hide from the ticking crocodile, get into a skirmish with Hook's pirates and find out if you really really believe in fairies."
Well, I definitely believe in fairies, and in particular Tinker Bell who we meet in this book, along with Peter, Wendy and her brothers John and Michael and all the lost boys in Neverland.
The story is fairly long so I would say its suited to kids 3 years and up and is definitely not a baby pop up book but the story is short enough that you just get a brief insight into how Peter met Wendy and now they ended up in Neverland battling the pirate Hook and having lots of adventures.
For me its the pop ups in this book that make it truly spectacular. They are amazing and some of the best I have ever seen. They are not just a little bit of paper that rises up when you open the page, no these are full on masterpieces that jump out at you and make you want to dive into the page because that is where the story is. For example on the first page, up pops a huge lifelike picture of Big Ben and we are shown a huge London scene, showing us where Wendy and her brothers leave. Then further on in the book there is a big snappy crocodile pop up with him trying to snap at the bottom of Mr Hook. On the final page there is an amazing pirate ship that pops out and is standing tall, sailing on the seas and its got so much detail and aspects to it. Another great thing about this book is that it has sounds and music too when you open the pop ups. The music is very atmospherical and brings the story to life as well. For example on the page with Big Ben, the page music will chime and then has a sort of magical aspect to it. There is also a ticking clock when we see the crocodile and lots of pirate laughing and Ay Captain's etc.
I think after reading this book its given me, as well as my children, a want to know more about Peter Pan and his adventures so when they are older I think we are going to start reading the proper book but for now to be able to look at the wonderful pictures and hear the accompanying music is good enough. This book is a collectors book, one that we will keep for a very long time and treasure and one that I am trying to keep nice and away from little fingers that like to pull at the pop ups.
The book costs £14.99. It is published by Templar publishing and has an ISBN of 978-1-84011-689-2.