Bill Peet: An Autobiography

Bill Peet, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $22 (192p) ISBN 978-0-395-50932-6
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 . )
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-395-68982-0
Prebound-Other - 190 pages - 978-0-606-06232-9
Prebound-Sewn - 190 pages - 978-0-7807-3967-3
Prebound-Other - 190 pages - 978-0-7857-2153-6
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