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James Barrie. Illustrated by Susan Hudson.
Montréal, PQ: Tundra Books, 1987.
48pp., cloth, $29.95.
ISBN 0-88776-205-0. CIP.

Subject Heading:
Barrie, J. M. (James Matthew), 1860-1937. Peter Pan-Illustrations.

Grades 11 and up / Ages 16 and up

Reviewed by Louise Griffith.

Volume 16 Number 1
1988 January

The Eternal Peter Pan, written by James Barrie and illustrated by Susan Hudson, is one of a trilogy of books issued in honour of the fiftieth anniversary of Barrie's death. Peter Pan, the Complete Book and Peter Pan, the Complete Play are to be issued in January 1988. The Eternal Peter Pan is a beautiful hard-cover forty-eight-page book with twenty-one full-colour etchings, each illustrating a significant quotation from Peter Pan printed on the opposite page. The quotations selected emphasize the philosphical aspect of Barrie's attitudes on sex, death, and the afterlife, aspects of Barrie often unknown to the general reader. The pictures will appeal to the sophisticated viewer, who will appreciate the subtlety of faces emerging from maps or greenery or painted in green and orange tones. These unusual techniques in the etchings are done with skill and good taste. In the frontispiece illustration, a winged Peter surrounded by waves, fish and an eel is looking bravely forward and saying, "To die will be an awfully big adventure."

Those who like to look at beautiful books and their illustrations will enjoy the novelty, skill and sensitivity of this one. Artists will admire the unusual techniques, while those of a philosophical turn will appreciate the insights in the passages selected for quotation. Children and those who are quite unfamiliar with Peter Pan and his world will find it difficult to relate to these etchings, but senior art students will enjoy and want to emulate them. Librarians, especially those concerned with older teenagers and adults, will want to purchase this intriguing book.

Louise Griffith, Agincourt, ON.
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