May 9th is Peter Pan Day

Written by J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan or The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up was first published in The Little White Bird in 1902. Later, much of that volume had been republished as Peter Pan of Kensington Gardens (1906) and then Peter and Wendy in 1911. Though prior to those two works, the play of 1904 brought Peter Pan to life. 

Home: Neverland
Friends: Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, Wendy Darling, John Darling, Michael Darling, Tiger Lily, the Mermaids, the Fairies, the Natives.
Enemies: Captain Hook, William Smee, the Pirates, Mary Darling

The Little White Bird (1902)
by J.M. Barrie

A story of the first sighting of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. The book introduces readers to the general myths surrounding Peter Pan.

Peter and Wendy (1911)
by J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan is the mischievous yet innocent boy who can fly. Lives on the island of Neverland which is inhabited by mermaids, fairies, Native Americans and pirates. His adventures include Wendy Darling and her two brothers, his fairy Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys, and the pirate Captain Hook.

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (1906)
by J.M. Barrie

Peter is a seven-day-old infant who, like all infants, used to be a bird. Having complete faith in his flying abilities, he is able to escape out of the window of his London home and return to Kensington Gardens, where he, like all babies in London, came from. When he returns to the Gardens, Peter is shocked to learn from the crow that he is no longer a bird, but more like a human—crossed between the two as a “Betwixt-and-Between.” Unfortunately, Peter now knows he cannot fly. Now stranded in Kensington Gardens, Peter can only get around by foot until he pays to have the thrush’s build him a nest large enough to carry him. 

Although he terrifies the fairies when he first arrives, Peter is quickly able to amuse them with his human ways and agrees to play the pan pipes at the fairy dances. Eventually, Queen Mab grants him the wish of his heart and he decides to return home to his mother. The fairies reluctantly empower him to fly home, where he finds his mother asleep in his old room.

He decides he’s going to return home and decides to go back to the Gardens to say his last goodbyes. However, Peter stays too long in the Gardens and when he uses his second wish to go home permanently he is devastated to learn that, in his absence, his mother has given birth to another son. Peter returns, to Kensington Gardens, heartbroken.

 

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