Reviews for Bill Peet : An Autobiography


Publishers Weekly Reviews 1989 April #4
Fans who grew up with any of Peet's more than 30 books-- Pamela the Camel ; Zella, Zack and Zodiac ; Chester the Worldly Pig among them--or with any of the Disney movies he worked on--such as Cinderella , Dumbo , Pinocchio , 101 Dalmatians --will welcome this inside look at the creative process. Peet wryly tells the story of his life, from his boyhood in Indianapolis to his years working at the Disney studios. He started as an ``in-betweener,'' who had the ``tedious, painstaking job of adding hundreds of drawings in between hundreds of other drawings to move Donald or Mickey from here to there.'' The job lasted until the day a stack of Donald Duck drawings caused Peet to run from the office, shouting ``NO MORE DUCKS!!! NO MORE LOUSY DUCKS!'' Promoted to the story department, he was often the imaginative force behind ideas for which story editors claimed credit in front of Walt Disney; his work at the studio lasted 27 years, during which time his children's book career took off. Readers will come away with a Peet's-eye view of the Depression, and also of the drudgery and politicking of office life--and he completely demystifies the glamour side of working in Hollywood. The illustrations--samples from his Disney sketches and pictures of him involved in nearly every facet of human experience--offer a humorous guide to adult life that readers of all ages will surely respond to. Toward the end, Peet spells out for readers what he believes has been the course of his life, and these pages are a little too baldly introspective compared to what has come before. Nevertheless, he offers an ebullient invitation to survey his life, a dip into an inkpot of entertaining facts. And the format could inspire a whole new kind of autobiography--since an illustrator ``thinks'' visually, using pictures to tell his life story seems positively inspired. Ages 8-12. ( Apr . ) Copyright 1989 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1989 July
Gr 3 Up-- Peet's long shelf of popular picture books are familiar to library patrons; his long career as an artist for the Disney studios may not be so well-known. All of this and more is covered in this enthusiastic and heart-felt autobiography. The format is similar to James Stevenson's When I Was Nine (Greenwillow, 1986)--a picture book with autobiographical text and profuse illustrations in the familiar style of the author/subject--but while Stevenson describes only a short period in his life, Peet starts with his earliest memories and continues up to the present. Beginning with a traditional Midwestern town and country boyhood, the book follows Peet through high school, into art school, on to local prizes for his paintings, and eventually to an invitation to ``audition'' for the Disney studios, where he eventually worked on Snow White , Dumbo , Sleeping Beauty , and many more films. At the same time, he struggled at home with the picture-book format for his art, finding himself with reams of picture stories but at a loss for words to accompany them. Every page of this oversized book is illustrated with Peet's unmistakable black-and-white drawings of himself and the people, places, and events described in the text. Familiar characters from his books and movies appear often. The fascinating subject matter will encourage readers to finish the lengthy text. The pictures tell their own story and can be appreciated on many levels. An excellent choice for inspiring young gifted and talented students as well as for general readers. --Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, Pa. Copyright 1989 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1989 August
Gr 3 Up-- Peet's long shelf of popular picture books are familiar to library patrons; his long career as an artist for the Disney studios may not be so well-known. All of this and more is covered in this enthusiastic and heart-felt autobiography. The format is similar to James Stevenson's When I Was Nine (Greenwillow, 1986)--a picture book with autobiographical text and profuse illustrations in the familiar style of the author/subject--but while Stevenson describes only a short period in his life, Peet starts with his earliest memories and continues up to the present. Beginning with a traditional Midwestern town and country boyhood, the book follows Peet through high school, into art school, on to local prizes for his paintings, and eventually to an invitation to ``audition'' for the Disney studios, where he eventually worked on Snow White , Dumbo , Sleeping Beauty , and many more films. At the same time, he struggled at home with the picture-book format for his art, finding himself with reams of picture stories but at a loss for words to accompany them. Every page of this oversized book is illustrated with Peet's unmistakable black-and-white drawings of himself and the people, places, and events described in the text. Familiar characters from his books and movies appear often. The fascinating subject matter will encourage readers to finish the lengthy text. The pictures tell their own story and can be appreciated on many levels. An excellent choice for inspiring young gifted and talented students as well as for general readers. --Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, Pa. Copyright 1989 Cahners Business Information.

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