Bill Peet: An Autobiography

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9780395689820: Bill Peet: An Autobiography

Bill Peet tells his life story, including his years with Disney, with illustrations on every page.

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About the Author:

Bill Peet was the author of 34 books published by Houghton Mifflin. One of these, BILL PEET: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY, was named a 1989 Caldecott Honor Book. All of Bill Peet’s books published by Houghton Mifflin Company, including his first book for children published in 1959, HUBERT'S HAIR-RAISING ADVENTURE, remain actively in print today.

In both his career as an author and illustrator of children’s books and in his work as sketch artist and continuity illustrator at Walt Disney, Bill Peet created a menagerie of memorable characters. As he himself noted, "I write about animals because I love to draw them. Most of my animal characters have human personalities, and some are much like the people I know."

At Walt Disney, where Bill Peet worked for 27 years, he was a key participant in the production of classic films such as Fantasia, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and 101 Dalmatians for which he was not only an artist, but the screenwriter as well.

Bill Peet’s signature style enabled him to create fast-paced stories of fantastical adventure delivered with warmth and laugh-out-loud hilarity. His unfailing humor did not, however, prevent him from addressing such poignant issues as kindness toward others and respect for the environment. Through the exploits of his characters, Peet offered his audience a chance to see themselves and their world through new eyes.

"At some point," Bill Peet once said, "it occurred to me that drawing was something I couldn’t possibly give up, and somehow it must be turned into a profession." He went on to not only fulfill his dream but to introduce generations of young readers to his delightful vision of humor, friendship and compassion.

From Publishers Weekly:

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.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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