I don’t think I ever read J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan as a child, although, like all children, I knew the story. So what fun it was to rediscover this book when my oldest son went through a Neverland phase!
I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. The story is clever, of course, and draws you in. But it’s the offhand insights into the way children see the world that I find to be remarkable.
“Quick as thought he snatched a knife from Hook’s belt and was about to drive it home, when he saw that he was higher up the rock than his foe. It would not have been fighting fair. He gave the pirate a hand to help him up. It was then that Hook bit him. Not the pain of this but its unfairness was what dazed Peter. It made him quite helpless.”
And the little webs of fancy woven throughout are delightful:
“‘You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.’”
“‘And you could darn our clothes, and make pockets for us. None of us has any pockets.’”
There aren’t any rummaging reads to be found in Peter Pan as “The difference between [Peter] and the other boys at such a time was that they knew it was make-believe; while to him make-believe and true were exactly the same thing. This sometimes troubled them, as when they had to make-believe that they had had their dinners.”
I suppose you could make-believe something that suits your fancy, and, while you’re at it, find an old copy of Peter Pan and settle in for a fun read.