Everyone knows the story. It sports numerous adaptations and retellings, its characters have become legendary, and it dwells in the heart of every child who is just a bit reluctant to grow up, or every adult who still clings to the memories of childhood and perhaps would not mind becoming a child once more, given the opportunity.
The story I am writing of is none other than J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Although the Boy Who Never Grew Up first appeared in 1902 in The Little White Bird, a novel written for adults, most probably recognize him as the cartoon character in Disney’s movie adaptation, making his adventures accessible for children and propelling his sexy pixie friend to icon status.
Peter’s story has since been told in various stage musicals and even live-action films such as Hook (1991) and Peter Pan (2003). Peter David’s Tigerheart could possibly be the most original and charming adaptation yet.
Tigerheart never once mentions Peter Pan or any of the familiar trademarks of the famous story.
Instead the story focuses on the life of a gifted child, Paul Dear, who spends his time chatting with pixies in Kensington Gardens and dreaming of having adventures while in the company of pirates and braves in a world called the Anyplace. Everything changes for Paul when his newborn sister dies and his parents separate as a result.
Paul notices his mother has become a completely different person. No longer tolerating his boyhood antics, his mother tells him now is the time for him to grow up, and will take any lengths and measures to ensure that he does, including a trip to the doctor for medicine to extinguish his boundless imagination.
Not even medicine can stop a determined dreamer, and Paul still has unnatural occurrences on a daily basis, leading him to believe that he may be the boy of legend. Paul journies into the heart of the Anyplace searching for a lost girl to replace his sister.
The heart and soul of Peter Pan is very apparent and easily found in Tigerheart.
For all those who wish to touch upon their childhood once more, Tigerheart will be more than a pleasure to read.